Arthur Kapetanakis | January 16, 2019
American Frances Tiafoe scored one of the biggest victories of his career at the Australian Open on Wednesday, as he knocked out No. 5 Kevin Anderson, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5, in Round 2. It was the first career Top-5 victory for the youngster, who turns 21 on Jan. 20, earning him his second trip to a Grand Slam third round (Wimbledon in 2018). Read on for five of the best answers from his post-match press conference.
Q. Would you say that's the biggest win of your career?
Frances Tiafoe: Probably, yeah. I mean, considering the circumstance, obviously in a Grand Slam. Yeah, still my biggest win is probably DelPo in Delray, because him being my idol.
I've never felt something like that after winning a tennis match. The fact that it was a Grand Slam, second seed I beat, obviously a Top-5 player, it's pretty big.ADVERTISEMENT
Q. How much confidence do you get from a performance like today?
Frances Tiafoe: A ton. A ton. These are the matches where they kind of define you and help you feel more and more comfortable to keep winning matches like that. So, yeah, I'm definitely going to remember this one.
Q. How far do you believe you can go in this tournament?
Frances Tiafoe: To the third round (laughter). I'm worried about the third round, man. I take it every match. Everyone is good, man. It's tough looking ahead. Everyone's levels... Look at today: he's five in the world, I'm 39. I was able to beat him. I mean, it's so tight now. Anybody plays a good match, you can beat anybody on a given day. You don't take anybody and underestimate.
Q. Big results for the Americans today. Do you feel like there's guys who you sort of grew up with playing in juniors arriving?
Frances Tiafoe: Yeah, we definitely pay attention to it. Nobody wants to do better than the other person. Sorry, everyone wants to do better than the other person. But it's all good blood. We all want each other to do well.
We actually had me, Macky [Mackenzie McDonald], [Taylor] Fritz, Tommy [Paul], who else is there, Reilly [Opelka] – we had a massive dinner before the tournament started. How crazy is this? We're all in the main draw. I can remember us playing 12s Orange Bowl or something. We're all here now, all doing great things. It's unbelievable.
Q. Give us something on Serena. Did she tell you anything that was fun [while you were teammates at Hopman Cup]? What was it like being around her?
Frances Tiafoe: She was telling me, "Try and win" (laughter). Yeah, she's so nice. She's so nice. Such a good competitor. I mean, off the court, she's so chilled and relaxed. Once she gets on, she hates losing. It's unacceptable.
I mean, I definitely felt that playing. I was about as nervous as could be (smiling). Yeah, no, I think we grew a pretty good relationship. Yeah, I think that week definitely helped me long run.