American tennis star Frances Tiafoe, 22, acknowledged it wasn’t easy playing against fellow compatriot Donald Young, someone he admires and respects a lot. Tiafoe, ranked at No. 62 in the world, struggled a bit on his serve against Young but still claimed a straight-set win over the former world No.
38 as he won 6-3 6-4 to progress into the Delray Beach Open round-of-16. Young, now ranked at No. 327 in the world, has had a rough few last seasons on the Tour but he made it past the qualifying event to earn a spot in the Delray Beach main draw.
Young saved a break point in the third game to take a 2-1 first-set lead, but then lost his serve twice as Tiafoe routinely won the opener. Tiafoe blew an early second set break but saved a break point in the ninth game, before breaking Young in the following game to seal the win.
“It’s never easy playing someone you like a lot or have known for so long,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview, per the ATP website. “But I competed great tonight, I thought, [even though] I wasn’t feeling the ball as well as I would like… It’s a work in progress”.
Tiafoe wants to win it all in Delray Beach
In 2018, Tiafoe defeated Peter Gojowczyk in the Delray Beach final to lift his maiden ATP crown. “This court is definitely one of my favourite courts in the world,” Tiafoe said.
“At 20 years old, winning a title here was really special back in 2018. Hopefully this year, or one of these years, I can do it again”. Elsewhere, Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie claimed a dominant 6-2 6-1 win over American JC Aragone.
“I knew that it would be tricky playing as the favourite and in these conditions,” Norrie said. “I served really well today, I really relied on that and I was pretty solid. I don’t think I missed too many balls.
I didn’t really go for much, but I was able to relax a bit towards the end and play more aggressive. It’s playing pretty lively out here, so I’m just glad to get the win. It was not easy.” Meanwhile, 41-year-old Ivo Karlovic beat Pablo Andujar 6-3 5-7 6-4 to become the oldest player to win a match on the ATP Tour since Jimmy Connors in 1995.
“Almost every match that I win, now with my age, it [makes] history,” Karlovic said in his on-court interview.