Frances Tiafoe: I was tentative in first two sets against Bjorn Fratangelo



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Frances Tiafoe: I was tentative in first two sets against Bjorn Fratangelo

American tennis star Frances Tiafoe wasn't really happy with the way he started the match against fellow compatriot Bjorn Fratangelo so he decided to be much more aggressive in the third set. Tiafoe, ranked at No. 62 in the world, handed a 6-4 3-6 6-2 loss to world No.

274 Fratangelo to progress into the Delray Beach Open quarterfinal. Fratangelo claimed the first break of the match to take a 4-2 lead but Tiafoe responded with back-to-back breaks to steal the opener. Fratangelo once again broke Tiafoe in the sixth game of the set but this time he held on to his serve to force a decider.

In the third set, Tiafoe dominated Fratangelo as he claimed two breaks and lost no service games to progress into the next round. "I told myself to swing at the ball,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview, per the ATP website.

“I was pretty tentative in the first two sets. Even though I won the first set, I was behind the baseline a lot and he was running a lot of balls down. But then I freed up a little bit, and then it worked out”.

Tiafoe plays next against Cameron Norrie

Tiafoe started his Delray Beach campaign with back-to-back matches against fellow compatriots.

In the first round, Tiafoe handed a straight-set defeat to Donald Young. "It’s never easy playing someone you like a lot or have known for so long,” Tiafoe said after beating Young. “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."

Next up for Tiafoe will be Great Britain's Cameron Norrie, who handed a 6-2 7-5 loss to French Adrian Mannarino. "This court is definitely one of my favourite courts in the world,” Tiafoe said a round earlier.

“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." Meanwhile, Norrie claimed three breaks and lost his serve once to easily win the opener against Mannarino.

Norrie found himself trailing 3-0 at the beginning of the second set but he then claimed two breaks to overturn the deficit and earn a straight-set win. "That second set was a battle. There were some really long rallies, a lot of running.

It was good to scrape through that,” Norrie said. “I think I feel more comfortable as the week’s gone on. I’m pleased with where my game’s at”.