American Frances Tiafoe wins major Challenger in Provence

Tiafoe secured his second Challenger title of the year, and is setting himself up to feature in the ATP Next Gen Finals at the end of the season (Zimbio.com)

Frances Tiafoe has won the Aix en Provence Challenger. The American fourth seed beat third seeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.

The match was close, with Tiafoe winning the first set with two breaks before Chardy won the second by breaking twice compared to the American’s one.

Both players traded breaks in the third before Tiafoe earned two match points against the Chardy serve. The Frenchman saved both however and the winner was to be decided by a tiebreak.

Chardy took the lead in the tiebreak and was in position to serve out the match from 5-4. Chardy had however struggled with his second serve, winning just 26% of his points in the final set when he missed his first serve. Tiafoe managed to win both points against the Chardy serve to set up his third match point. This time the point came on the American’s serve and he duly served out for the title.

The title is the culmination of an excellent week for the nineteen year-old Tiafoe. The American started his week with a hard-fought final set tiebreak win over Arthur de Greef. Straight sets wins over Maxime Hamou and Quentin Halys followed, before he defeated compatriot Reilly Opelka in the semi-finals.

It is Tiafoe’s second Challenger win of the season having also triumphed in the Sarasota final. He defeated Tennys Sandgren on a American clay surface as opposed to the European clay that Provence features.

Chardy’s week saw him struggle past Christian Garin in the first round, dropping the second set before winning the third. He then reached the final without dropping another set, defeating the likes of Lukas Rosol, Bjorn Fratangelo, and Pedro Sousa.

The win for Tiafoe will see his ranking climb into the Top 70 for the first time. By the making the final, Chardy will retain a position just ahead of Tiafoe when the new rankings appear next week.

Aix en Provence Challenger, Prize money: 18,290 euro, Winners ATP Points: 125

  •  American Reilly Opelka reached the semi-finals. The 6’11 teenager surprised many by defeating top seed Malek Jaziri in the quarter-finals.

 

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