Frances Tiafoe moves on to face Roger Federer at Miami Open

By The Sports Xchange  |  March 24, 2017 at 12:38 AM
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Frances Tiafoe moved into the second round at the Miami Open with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 victory over Russia's Konstantin Kravchuk on Thursday in Key Biscayne, Fla.

The 19-year-old's next match figures to be appreciably tougher. The teen from Maryland will face 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the hard-court event.

The former top-ranked Federer is seeded fourth in the tournament. Tiafoe, ranked No. 101, was playing just his third career match in a Grand Slam or Masters event when he opposed Kravchuk. Tiafoe's matchup with Federer will be his first against a player ranked in the top 10.

"The guy has about a million Grand Slams and done everything. I can't tell you how excited I am to play," Tiafoe said. "Seeing the draw was partly probably why up a set and 4-1, I started rushing and thinking, 'Oh my god, I'm going to play Roger. He's my idol, everyone's idol.'"

Tiafoe accumulated 12 aces and converted on five of 14 breaks points against the 32-year-old Kravchuk in a two-hour match.

The American had defeated Kravchuk last week in the first round of an ATP Challenger Tour tournament in Irving, Texas.

"I think I'm playing some good tennis. It's been showing," Tiafoe said. "I've just been working hard and building as a player, as a person, every day."

In other men's first-round matches, Argentina's Horacio Zeballos rallied past Portugal's Gastao Elias 6-7 (2), 6-2, 7-5 to set up a meeting with top-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in the next round, France's Adrian Mannarino handled German qualifier Benjamin Becker 7-6 (6), 6-3; Croatia's Borna Coric edged Spain's Marcel Granollers 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3; and Spain's Tommy Robredo overcame a challenge from Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win.

Also, Darian King of Barados beat fellow qualifier Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 7-6 (2), 6-4. He faces eighth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium in the next round.

Qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan defeated Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-4, 6-1; Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan beat Casper Ruud of Norway 6-2, 6-1; Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur edged South Korea's Hyeon Chung 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1). Robin Haase of the Netherlands ousted Sweden's Mikael Ymer 7-5, 7-6 (3); Argentina's Diego Schwartzman outlasted Russia's Karen Khachanov 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4); Italy's Andreas Seppi downed Moldova's Radu Albot 6-4, 6-4; and Russia's Andrey Rublev blitzed Germany's Florian Mayer 6-1, 6-1.

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