Tiafoe Ends Ferrer's Miami Career
An ATP Tour trivia question in the years to come:
A: Frances Tiafoe.
The #NextGenATP American narrowed Ferrer's official tournament to-do list to only two on Monday night, beating the 36-year-old 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Before Miami, Tiafoe had gone 1-4 since making the Australian Open quarter-finals in January.
“I'm starting to get my rhythm again. I'm starting to play better. I'm starting to feel a little more confident each match,” Tiafoe said.
He's into the fourth round in South Florida for the second consecutive year and will try to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final against 18th seed David Goffin, a 6-4, 6-4 winner against 14th seed Marco Cecchinato of Italy.
Tiafoe and Ferrer traded breaks early and looked like they were headed for a first-set tie-break. Tiafoe was in his chair, waiting for the 6-5 changeover when Ferrer's challenge was successful, making it deuce. Ferrer then broke and won the first set.
The 28th-seeded Tiafoe, however, came out locked in and broke Ferrer for a 3-0 lead. Two more breaks in the final set ended the Spaniard's 17-year tenure in Miami.
“I just tried to stay the course,” Tiafoe said. “Don't be a junior. Grow up. Keep going. I got off to a good start in the second and kept steamrolling.”
Ferrer reached the final in 2013 (l. to Murray) and the semi-finals in 2005-06. Ferrer plans to play two clay-court events – the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and the Mutua Madrid Open – before retiring.
Goffin has been playing without much attention in Miami. He needed only 69 minutes to get past Cecchinato behind two breaks of serve.