‘I didn’t deserve to win’ – Frances Tiafoe edges to career century with Stockholm victory
Frances Tiafoe has survived in Stockholm to score his 100th career win on a hard court.
The US Open semi-finalist was facing home talent Elias Ymer when he found himself 6-3, 4-0 down to the world number 129. But he surged back to claim victory 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2) and move to the quarter-finals.
“I definitely didn’t deserve to win today,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview. “Elias was playing really well in the beginning. I was really flat, really negative. It’s been a long year and it’s been tough, so I was really tired out there.
“Big growth win for me to come back and win. He got a little nervous and I started upping my level, and he still played well in the third, but I was able to get it done.”
“Elias is a hell of a player. He just needs to believe in himself. He strikes the ball as good as anyone, and he moves so fast. I think the only reason I won is because he didn’t believe it in the end.”
Frances Tiafoe is now 10-2 across his last three ranking events. He reached the last four of his home Slam before making it to the final in Tokyo, losing to compatriot Taylor Fritz there. With a 32-21 win-loss record this year, he is now one win from matching his best season win tally of 33 from 2021.
In order to achieve that in Stockholm Tiafoe will need to down another Nordic player in world number 52 Emil Ruusuvuori. The 23-year-old Finn defeated Joao Sousa and Jiri Lehecka to reach the quarter-finals.
Despite a strong season reaching finals in Estoril and Tokyo, Tiafoe is still in pursuit of a title in 2022. His only career tour level trophy came in 2018 in Delray Beach.
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