Frances Tiafoe Has Nine Lives in Estoril: ‘I need to go to the supermarket and buy new legs’

Frances Tiafoe Estoril
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Frances Tiafoe’s run in Estoril has been nothing short of epic. He was very close to losing all four of his matches this week, none more so than Saturday’s semifinal, where Sebastian Korda had three match points. In total, Tiafoe has played nine hours and forty seven minutes this week ahead of Sunday’s final and, in the four matches combined, has only won 26 more points than his opponents. It has been an absolutely incredible run, where Tiafoe out-clutched all his opponents to reach a second final in Estoril, after losing to João Sousa in 2018.

Frances Tiafoe Miracle Run Continues

By comparison, his final opponent Sebastian Baez has had a very easy week, despite playing seven-and-half hours and three three-setters. Baez showed a very good level this week, beating Marin Cilic, Richard Gasquet, and Albert Ramos-Vinolas to get this opportunity to claim his first career title. The 21-year-old Argentine goes into the final as a favorite considering the surface and how much Tiafoe has played this week, but this title seems somehow destined for Tiafoe, who seemingly just refuses to lose this week.

While Baez is still title-less, Tiafoe hasn’t exactly been a prolific title winner either. He’s only ever won once, in Delray Beach in 2018, and this will only be his fourth career final. His performance in the Estoril 2018 final, where he entered as a favorite against João Sousa, was particularly disappointing.

Of course, Tiafoe knows how long he’s been on court this week. When asked in press how his legs were feeling after all the tennis, the American joked, “I need to go to the supermarket and buy new legs.”

Frances Tiafoe never really lived up to his hype he had as a young player, showing a lot of inconsistency from match to match and even within the same match. His record at ATP level is still a negative 109-126, but he’s actually at his career highest ranking on the back of good runs at the US Open and Vienna last year. If he’s ever going to be a Top 10 contender, it’s now at 24 years of age. He needs to start making his move, gaining consistency, and starting to win tournaments. It’s clear that, despite being on clay, Estoril is a lucky tournament for Tiafoe. After all, he has reached two of his four career finals here. Sunday will be a great chance to cap off an unforgettable week for the American.

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