Fresh off an electrifying run to the United States Open semifinals not up to two weeks in the past, Frances Tiafoe is in top situation to lend a hand clinch issues for Team World at Laver Cup London.
“I love Laver Cup competition,” mentioned Tiafoe, who has risen to a career-high No.19 in singles following his luck in New York. “I know what to expect and I think we have a great chance this year of taking the title from Team Europe.”
Coached by means of South Africa’s Wayne Ferreira, the athletic American brimmed with self assurance after taking eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz to a decisive 5th set at the United States Open. “I just proved that I can play with the best, and I’m capable of winning Grand Slams,” mentioned Tiafoe.
“I’ve always backed myself against the best players in the world — I’m doing it on a consistent basis, starting to beat guys more readily, ready to take the next step,” mentioned Tiafoe. “I feel like I can win any match.”
How it’s going
Tiafoe, who gained his maiden singles identify 4 years in the past in Delray Beach, can rejoin the winners’ circle if Team World forges a trail to Laver Cup victory.
The American, who used to be nominated for the ATP Tour’s Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award in 2021, enters this week’s motion armed with singles victories over 3 of the six Team Europe avid gamers. He holds bragging rights as the one guy to have defeated Rafael Nadal at a significant this yr, reaching his first win over the Spaniard all the way through their fourth spherical come upon at Flushing Meadows previous this month.
“It’s not an easy task,” stated Tiafoe, who adopted up his Nadal victory with a crushing straight-sets dissatisfied of Andrey Rublev and previous within the match battled previous his higher-ranked Team World teammate Diego Schwartzman, additionally in directly units.
The 24 year-old has posted 15 of his 2022 season’s 26 wins on onerous courts, and is solely seven suits shy of tying the personal-best 33 victories he recorded in 2021. If he faces a Laver breaker, Tiafoe will again himself as the favourite: the America is on an unbeaten streak after turning into the primary participant to win 8 US Open tiebreaks.
Off-court, the right-hander has expressed a want to make a distinction on the planet. In 2020, he made a video entitled “Racquets Down, Hands Up” to unfold consciousness about unjust deaths of African-Americans within the United States, which featured avid gamers Serena Williams and Coco Gauff.
On enjoying Laver Cup
The American, competing in his 3rd Laver Cup, is in search of his first singles victory after falling to Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov in Prague in 2017 and Chicago in 2018.
“It’s just kind of like a Davis Cup feel, but even better because it’s among friends and not only for your country,” Tiafoe mentioned in 2017. “Having the likes of John McEnroe next to me giving me tips is definitely unbelievable, something I’ll remember forever.”
Maryland, US-based Tiafoe, who has described his prior Laver Cup outings as an “unbelievable experience”, will as soon as once more trade excessive fives with teammates together with Jack Sock, who’s amongst his closest buddies at the ATP Tour.
“Being in a team environment always means a little more…this is an honor for me,” Tiafoe mentioned on his Laver Cup debut. “You feel like you have to really leave it all out there,” he mentioned, including that massive audiences inspire him to raise his recreation. “I live for it…if you get a big crowd in front of me, I’m going to play some good tennis.”
“Frances is trending in the right direction, he brings a lot of energy and he’s got some great talent,” Team World Captain John McEnroe mentioned on Tuesday, describing his participant’s present shape as “hot”.