Frances Tiafoe has burst onto the professional tennis scene in 2018 by reaching a career-high ranking of 56 back in April, and capturing his first ATP level tournament title at the Delray Beach Open. Tiafoe is 20 years old and grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland while training at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, Maryland.
On the season, Tiafoe has a record of 15-8, and will aim to improve upon that record next week at the French Open which begins on Monday, May 21. At last year’s French Open, Tiafoe battled for over three hours but eventually fell in five sets to the 28th seeded clay-court veteran Fabio Fognini of Italy. This year’s draw appears slightly more favorable for the young American as he will play a fellow American in Sam Querrey who is the 12th seed.
The red dirt at Roland Garros has historically been the worst surface for Americans over the years, and Americans typically struggle to get out of the first round. With two Americans playing each other, it is a wonderful opportunity for both guys to advance.
The veteran Querrey got the better of DMV local Tiafoe in straight sets last year on the hard courts at Shanghai in the pair’s only prior head-to-head meeting. Tiafoe will aim to even up that head to head record as the two will square off this time around.
Querrey comes into the match carrying a three match losing streak on clay while Tiafoe made the finals at the Estoril Open a few weeks ago on clay, and has won at least one match including qualifying at his last three clay court events.
Tiafoe got a favorable draw even though on paper he drew a matchup with the 12th seed. He is playing a fellow American which is always a good sign on the clay, and Querrey has struggled this season with a record of 10-9 overall on all surfaces. Tiafoe will make the most of this opportunity and prevail over the struggling American in four tightly contested sets.