‘Tough for me to breathe’ Frances Tiafoe overcomes illness for Estoril comeback
World number 29 Frances Tiafoe overcame illness to record a remarkable comeback victory in his opening round match at the Estoril Open.
The 24-year-old managed to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat as he came from a set and a break down to beat Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 2-6, 7-5, 6-0.
After being broken twice in the first set, a similar pattern looked to be emerging in the second, however the American was able to save a pair of break points to avoid going behind 0-3.
Then Tiafoe, still down a break at 1-2, briefly left the court.
Remarkably, when he returned, he won 12 of the last 15 games — including the last eight in a row — to advance into the last 16.
Post-match Frances Tiafoe was quizzed by reporters as to why he had to leave the court mid-set, with the man from Maryland saying that he felt “under the weather” and that he was struggling to breath during the match.
The 2018 Estoril finalist told reporters, “I’m not feeling very well. I’m a little but under the weather.
“It was tough for me to move or breathe and stuff like that. The physio saved me today. He took me in there, down a set and a break, and I started feeling a little bit better.
Following his gutsy and impressive comeback, Tiafoe also praised the Portuguese crowd for their unwavering support.
“I love the fans here. You guys get so much behind me. You guys love the tennis I bring, so that means a lot to me.”
Tiafoe is set to play against home favourite Nuno Borges in the second round on Wednesday after the wild card beat Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar via a second-set retirement.
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