07/28 21:56 CDT Tiafoe falls in ATP debut
Tiafoe falls in ATP debut
WASHINGTON (AP) --- Sixteen-year-old Francis Tiafoe lost his ATP tour debut
while fellow Americans Robby Ginepri and Donald Young won their opening-round
matches at the Citi Open on Monday.
Russia's Evgeny Donskoy defeated Tiafoe, the world's seventh-ranked junior
player and a D.C.-area native, 6-4, 6-4.
Top-seeded Tomas Berdych will face Ginepri, who advanced to the second round
with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-4, 6-2. Young beat
Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
No. 6 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia won the opening match in the WTA draw,
6-3, 6-2 over Slovenia's Polona Hercog. Taylor Townsend, the 18-year-old
American qualifier, rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Julia Goerges of
Tiafoe trains at the tennis center in the Maryland suburbs where his father
once worked as a maintenance man and the family occasionally lived. This year
the 6-foot-1 slugger played boys' singles at the French Open, where he was the
top seed, and at Wimbledon.
Donskoy, ranked 111 on the ATP tour, fended off enough forehand winners from
Tiafoe and possible momentum-altering roars from the partisan crowd to break
the local favorite twice in the final set.
"Tonight was probably the most fun I've ever had playing tennis," an upbeat
Tiafoe said following the match. "The whole crowd with you. Every point you win
everyone is going crazy.
"It was really special playing tonight and I hope I can play here again for
many years to come."
Tiafoe, who received a wild card entry into the main draw, beat back three
match points before eventually falling.
"This guy is just outside the top 100 and we played a pretty competitive match
tonight," Tiafoe said. "At 16 and playing at the level like this, I leave here
John Isner received a first-round bye, as did Wimbledon semifinalist Milos
Raonic of Canada. Isner, a finalist in Washington last year, won the Atlanta
title on Sunday.
Other ATP winners on Monday included Americans Tim Smyczek and Rajeev Ram, and
Australia's Bernard Tomic.