WATCH: Frances Tiafoe takes tongue-in-cheek jab in loss to friend Tommy Paul
Tommy Paul won an all-American battle over his friend Frances Tiafoe, with the latter showing some joking frustration on the way.
Tiafoe and Paul took to court first in a completely North American semi-final line-up at the Stockholm Open.
Paul is a junior Slam champion, but Tiafoe led their head-to-head 1-0 on the ATP tour coming into the match.
And that record was reflected in the opening set, as Tiafoe won it 7-5. A tight second set saw Tiafoe go a break up late on, securing himself a chance to serve for the match at 6-5.
But Paul held him off to force a tiebreak. He took that momentum shift and ran with it to win the breaker 7-5 and extend the match to a decider.
Tiafoe was clearly frustrated, taunting his friend Paul with this interaction during the tiebreak.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 12, 2021
A single break was all Paul needed in the third as he clinched victory 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
“Man it was so fun to play in front of you guys,” Paul told the crowd in his on-court interview.
“So much fun to play against Frances [Tiafoe] as always. I haven’t gotten a win over Frances since juniors so that was a big one for me. That was the best level I’ve played probably all year long.
“I’ve had a lot of matches. The matches I’ve been playing the more comfortable I’ve been in pressure situations.”
The victory sees Paul into his first ever ATP tour final. He will face one of two Canadians, either Felix Auger-Aliassime or defending champion Denis Shapovalov.
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