World No. 29 Frances Tiafoe wasn't feeling on the court during his Estoril first round match but he was glad he was able to finish the match and escape with a victory. Tiafoe found himself in an uncomfortable spot in his Estoril opener but he recovered from a set down to beat Dusan Lajovic 2-6 7-5 6-0.
After going down by a set a break, Tiafoe was visited by a physio and the American started playing much better in the rest of the match. “I’m not feeling very well. I’m a little but under the weather," Tiafoe said after beating Lajovic.
“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."
Tiafoe on what motivated him to pull through
In 2018, a young Portuguese fan Pedro followed Tiafoe throughout his Estoril final run.
On Monday, Pedro was in attendance as Tiafoe made sure his biggest fan would be there to watch him. Tiafoe was feeling unwell, down by a set and a break but he didn't want to let Pedro down. "I didn't want to give up," Tiafoe said.
"I wanted to win so he could watch me play here all week." Tiafoe is playing in Estoril for the fourth time in his career. Tiafoe's best Estoril run came in 2018, when he reached the final before losing to Joao Sousa. “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 added. Tiafoe plays next against Portuguese Nuno Borges. Borges was up by a set and a break in the Estoril first round before Pablo Andujar retired their match. Tiafoe and Borges have no previous meetings.