Tiafoe Gains Moutet Revenge In Nur-Sultan
Paul also through in straight sets
Just two weeks after his loss to Moutet at the Forte Village Sardegna Open, Tiafoe struck 24 winners to advance in 82 minutes. The 22-year-old dominated rallies of under five shots (44-25) and attacked Moutet’s forehand in key moments to earn his place in the second round.
“I played really well tonight,” said Tiafoe in an on-court interview. “I was really intense from the beginning… I am just happy I came and took care of business.”
Tiafoe will meet second seed Miomir Kecmanovic for a place in the quarter-finals. The American defeated Kecmanovic in his only previous tour-level ATP Head2Head clash against the Serbian at last year’s Miami Open presented by Itau.
“[Miomir] is one of my better friends on Tour,” said Tiafoe. “He is a year younger than me and we have had a couple of good matches before. He has been playing really good. He is around his career high right now and I am climbing back. Obviously, we wouldn’t usually play in the second round of an ATP 250, but it is the way it is right now. It is going to be a really good match.”
Tiafoe’s countryman Tommy Paul also advanced with a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory against Stefano Travaglia of Italy. The seventh seed saved six of eight break points to improve to 13-11 this year after one hour and 35 minutes. Paul will meet Radu Albot of Moldova for a spot in the quarter-finals. Albot rallied from a set down to defeat Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Jordan Thompson saved a match point to overcome Cameron Norrie 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-2 in the final match of the day. The eighth seed trailed 5/6 in the second-set tie-break, before charging back to book his spot in the second round. Thompson will meet Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori or Timofey Skatov of Kazakhstan for a place in the quarter-finals.