Frances Tiafoe defeated Hurkacz in four sets at the Next Gen ATP Finals on Tuesday to open his campaign on a good note. In his post-match press conference, Tiafoe was told that an undefeated champion in Milan takes a $400,000 cheque. 'Yeah, thanks for putting that out there.
No pressure. Jeez,' said Tiafoe smiling. 'I asked to (2017 winner) Hyeon Chung, and, yeah, he was pretty happy taking that to the bank. Yeah, obviously you know that coming in. But, you know, to go undefeated is pretty tough.
Obviously, Hyeon Chung did it, so it's not impossible. But yeah, it's not easy. You know, I'm not really banking on that. Just trying to get out of the group first and see where I go from there. But starting my offseason with 400K would be pretty nice.' What does it mean for him to be part of the Next Gen ATP final and what does it mean for the year he has had? 'It's big.
I mean, especially last year I missed it by one. I was pretty upset. I didn't want to come an alternate. Obviously being part of the inaugural would be pretty cool. But this year was definitely a go, definitely a go, especially when you're so close to doing something and you don't do it.
And then, yeah, I ended up having an unbelievable season, thank God, because all of these other guys had an unbelievable season. I'm like, you guys want to slow down a little bit? But happy to be a part of this. I think we have great guys coming up and hopefully we just keep pushing each other.' Commenting on his next plans, Tiafoe added: 'I will not hit one tennis ball when this tournament is done, not one for two weeks.
I feel great. Obviously, yeah, it was definitely a long season, but, you know, I mean, that's tennis. I mean, it is what it is. You know, I mean, if you go and lose a tennis match, no one -- it doesn't come up next to it that you're exhausted.
So there's excused out here. Everyone is having the same exact year as you are. Once you get on the court, you put your heart in it and no excuses.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title