Johannesburg [South Africa]: 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has tipped Frances Tiafoe to have a great future in the game after beating the American teenager in straight sets in the Miami Open qualifier earlier today.
Federer, who missed Miami due to illness last year, defeated the 19-year-old qualifier 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to take his 2017 record to 14 wins and one loss.
Following the win, Federer could not stop himself gushing over Tiafoe, who acquitted himself well before a near-capacity stadium crowd in Miami.
“I think the question was always how was he going to come out. It’s the question also for any player. Also for me. How can you start a match? Seemed to be fearless, no problem, good serving, taking the ball early, making the plays,” Sport24 quoted Federer as saying.
Tiafoe, ranked 101st in the world, struggled against Federer’s serve, but was strong on his own and forced a first set tie-break in which the Swiss came out victorious.
The Swiss star was hugely impressed by the way the Maryland youngster approached the match and said that the latter would have gained valuable experience from the match.
“That’s what I like to see, when a younger player comes out, that he really feels he has nothing to lose and he’s only got stuff to gain,” he said.
“I hope he’s going to learn a lot from a match like this just because playing on a center court with a lot of people, under pressure, saving break points, making break points, playing breakers – that’s what it’s about.
And it should feed a player like him with a lot of energy moving forward hopefully…So I think he’s going to be really good,” Federer added.
Federer, who is bidding to clinch his third Miami title, is in fine form this season having clinched the Australian Open and Indian Wells.
The 35-year-old will now take on Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, who hammered Dutchman Robin Haase 6-2 6-4.(ANI)