Misc Tennis

Frances Tiafoe Didn’t Pull the Upset Against Alcaraz, But He Found His Swagger at Wimbledon

Tiafoe's Wimbledon Disappointment - I Played Horrendous

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday July 5, 2024

For the better part of the last six months, fans have been wondering: what’s up with Big Foe?

Frances Tiafoe, who parted ways with longtime coach Wayne Ferreira, then changed coaches again recently, has struggled to find that swagger that makes him one of the best shows in tennis. When he suffered a Grade 1 MCL sprain to his right knee at Queen’s Club, it appeared that the swagger we speak of might have to wait another few months.

Tennis Express

Wrong we were.

Though Tiafoe lost in a heated third-round clash with defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on Friday in Centre Court, his performance across week one at SW19 could be the spark that allows Tiafoe to catch fire on North American soil this summer.

“It was huge,” Tiafoe said after falling to Alcaraz 5-7 6-2 4-6 7-6(2) 6-2 on Friday. “It was huge for me to be in that environment again and play a match of such high quality. Me coming after one of the best players in the world and putting my game on display at the highest level, a court I’ve never played on. So that definitely sparked a huge light under me.”

More good news: that effervescent smile that has characterized Tiafoe over the years came back right along with his showstopping tennis. And it makes him feel confident that he’s once again on the right track again.

“I had so much fun playing out there,” Tiafoe told reporters. “I felt so comfortable. I really thought the match was there for me to take. I just take a lot of confidence from that. It’s something I needed. I haven’t been happy playing. It’s been really tough, so to be able to do that and compete like that at the highest level, that’s going to help me a lot for the summer swing and obviously going to the US Open where I want to perform my best as well.”

All in all, despite the loss, it was a ton of positive vibes for Tiafoe. He came back from two sets down for the first time in his life in the first round, defeating Matteo Arnaldi in five. Then he dominated Borna Coric to reach the third round.

He didn’t finish the job against Alcaraz, but he knows that even in defeat, he has accomplished something important.

“I think I can take nothing but positives,” he said. “Going in, I wasn’t even sure of playing [due to the…

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