American tennis player Frances Tiafoe underlined that he will have to play smart if he wants to stand a chance against No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev when they meet in the US Open round-of-16. Tiafoe, ranked at No. 82 in the world, saw off top-ranked Hungarian tennis player Marton Fucsovics 6-2 6-3 6-2 to make the US Open round-of-16 for the first time in his career.
Meanwhile, world No. 5 Medvedev claimed a third consecutive straight-set win to easily make the second week at the US Open. Medvedev leads the head-to-head against Tiafoe 2-1 as he beat the American in four sets when they met earlier this year at the Australian Open.
"I'm going to have to stay solid. I'm going to have to play smart. Can't give him too many unforced errors. Got to stay solid. Wait for my right ball, then go crazy," Tiafoe said. "But other than that, yeah, I mean, play the percentages.
He's goings to play funky, return from far back, put that extra ball back in play. It doesn't look good, but he gets it in. He's tough. He's a tough out. He's confident right now. He's playing the best tennis of his life.
"But again, I feel like when I'm playing the way I'm playing right now, I feel like I have a chance against anybody in the world. I felt that way for years. I'm starting to finally put it together again. "So if I can do that come Monday, it's going to be a good one."
Tiafoe says American tennis is in a great place
Former world No. 29 Tiafoe is the lone American male player left in the US Open main draw but he is not concerned about the fact that all of his compatriots have exited the event.
"No, man, it's not a big deal. It's not a big deal at all. I think American tennis is in a great place right now. Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Tommy Paul, we have our vets, John Isner, Sam Querrey, all these guys," Tiafoe insisted.
"Great teams around them. I think in a few years or even sooner, even now, guys are going to be ready to be in second weeks more readily. Me being here by myself, I don't feel alone. Those guys, they support me, I support them.
Again, I just don't feel alone in it. "As far as me being the last one left, I'm just worried about myself and worried about trying to win a tennis match."