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Frances Tiafoe wins Houston title, moves to brink of Top 10
Frances Tiafoe has firmly established himself at the top of the ATP Tour since his breakthrough run to the US Open semifinals last summer. After again reaching the last four at Indian Wells in March, the American superstar went all the way in Houston to claim his second tour-level title and move to a new career high of world No. 11.
Following a rainy week at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship, Tiafoe won all four of his matches in two weekend days as he claimed the ATP 250 trophy without losing a set, capping his run with a 7-6(1), 7-6(6) final victory against Argentina's Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Sunday. The 25-year-old fan favorite, who was playing an ATP event as the top seed for the first time, did not lose a set in his four Houston matches and dropped serve just once, when Etcheverry denied his attempt to serve out the title match at 5-4 in the second set.
Road to the Championship - Frances Tiafoe
R2: def. Steve Johnson (USA), 6-2, 6-4
QF: def. No. 6 Jason Kubler (AUS), 6-4, 6-4
SF: def. Gijs Brouwer (NED), 6-4, 6-1
F: def. No. 8 Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG), 7-6(1), 7-6(6)
Tiafoe put on a show throughout the weekend, and particularly in the final, when he flashed his athleticism and style with several show-stopping winners. An ace, his 12th of the match, clinched victory in the title match.
"It was an absolute war and an unbelievable final. I hope you guys [in the crowd] all enjoyed it, because that's what it's about,"
Tiafoe said during the trophy ceremony, after returning to the winner's circle for the first time since his 2018 Delray Beach triumph.
"My second title, here in Houston on U.S. soil, so thank you!" he later added.
Tiafoe's second ATP title came after victory in his championship match final, a result that ended a run of four straight final defeats. He reached two finals last season, in Estoril and Tokyo, in addition to his US Open semifinal showing.
After his efforts in Houston, Tiafoe pulled out of this week's Monte Carlo ATP Masters 1000 event. He will play on the European clay for the first time in 2023 next week in Barcelona before competing in Madrid later in the month.
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