Frances Tiafoe advances to third round at US Open with straight-sets win over Sebastian Ofner… and says he thinks it’s time for an American man to win the event for the first time since 2003

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Frances Tiafoe advances to third round at US Open with straight-sets win over Sebastian Ofner… and says he thinks it’s time for an American man to win the event for the first time since 2003

  • Frances Tiafoe picked up a straight-sets victory over Austria’s Sebastian Ofner 
  • Afterwards, Tiafoe said he thinks it’s time for an American to finally win the event
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Frances Tiafoe picked up a straight-sets victory over Austria’s Sebastian Ofner at the US Open (6-3 6-1 6-4) to advance to the third round of the men’s tournament, which hasn’t seen an American winner in 20 years. 

Tiafoe is part of a crop of American men in their 20s who have been steadily moving up the rankings and starting to show signs of threatening for major championships. Andy Roddick was the last man from the country to earn a Grand Slam trophy, at the US Open 20 years ago.

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Two other US men joining Tiafoe in the third round with victories were No. 14 Tommy Paul, an Australian Open semifinalist in January who collected his first career comeback from two sets down to beat Roman Safiullin 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3, and Ben Shelton, who advanced when 2020 champion Dominic Thiem stopped playing in the second set after being visited by a physiotherapist. No. 28 Chris Eubanks lost in four sets to Benjamin Bonzi of France, while No. 9 Taylor Fritz was in action later.

‘We all grew up together. We know each other so well. American tennis is in a great place,’ Tiafoe said. ‘Hopefully we keep going and hopefully we end that streak.’

His win was followed in Ashe by a meeting between two women who have won major titles: two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and 2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, who recently came out of retirement.

Frances Tiafoe picked up a straight-sets victory over Austria's Sebastian Ofner

Frances Tiafoe picked up a straight-sets victory over Austria’s Sebastian Ofner

Sebastian Ofner of Austria congratulates opponent Frances Tiafoe on the victory

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Sebastian Ofner of Austria congratulates opponent Frances Tiafoe on the victory 

One couldn’t escape the feeling that the 10th-seeded Tiafoe was having the time of his life. This is where he wants to be, no matter the details of the match. Under the lights at a Grand Slam tournament, absorbing the attention of thousands of folks in the Arthur Ashe Stadium stands and reciprocating the love while getting past Ofner  in a tad more than 1 1/2 hours.

‘I love it. I love it. I love all of it. I love the 1-on-1 battle. You’re putting your heart on the line. Everyone’s there to watch you and one other guy. You’re competing like crazy. Everyone’s anticipating the match. And it’s like, ‘Who wants it more?’ Tiafoe, a 25-year-old from Maryland, said during an interview before the US Open. ‘If you don’t love that, it’s the wrong sport for you. I just absolutely love being in those positions and those atmospheres.’

He knew this was Ofner’s US Open debut and said after Wednesday’s encounter that he wanted to use ‘the environment to my advantage.’ 

A year ago at Flushing Meadows, Tiafoe’s career changed and his life did, too. He beat Rafael Nadal in the fourth round along the way to reaching the semifinals of a major for the first time, then pushing eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz to the limit before bowing out.

Rapper Pusha T attends the second round match between Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Ofner

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Rapper Pusha T attends the second round match between Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Ofner

All the way, the fans — including some well-known ones, such as former first lady Michelle Obama and NBA All-Star Bradley Beal — showered Tiafoe with affection. And he certainly enjoyed basking in that adulation and the extra attention that came with his higher profile, including a role in the Netflix docuseries about tennis, ‘Break Point.’

‘I’m totally cool with putting myself fully out there and seeing what happens. Let the chips fall where they may. I love feeling the crowd with me. Everyone paid their hard-earned money to come watch. So I want them to enjoy,’ Tiafoe said. ‘And also, I want to win.’

Next up for Tiafoe is No. 22 Adrian Mannarino of France, who produced one wild on-the-run ‘tweener during his win Wednesday.

‘He’s very tricky. He’s got an unorthodox game style,’ Tiafoe said. ‘I’m ready. I’m ready for him.’ 

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