Francis Tiafoe, Shapovalov, Tiafoe discussed on The Tennis Podcast
Today we also lost Francis tiafoe at the hands of Karen heschel, another well, not another a comeback, but not all the way back. We had these two matches happening in tandem, Francis tiafoe, against Karen hashem of on the John Cain arena and Denis Shapovalov against Hubert her catch on the second court and it was incredible the way they were tracking one another. Tiafoe and Shapovalov, I suppose tiafoe were heavier favorite than Shapovalov and actually maybe that's twisting the narrative too far. Perhaps you but her catch who we are always guilty of sort of underrating and underplaying. He probably was the favorite in that match on paper, but they both go two sets to love down and yet you always feel like this isn't over. Something's gonna happen here. Maybe these guys were watching Andy Murray last night and know what's possible and lo and behold they both start the long trudge the long long drudge back to competitiveness and they didn't quite finish it the same stage. Did make it into a fissure. TFO had 6 set points to take it into a 5th. He was 6 one. In the fourth set tiebreak, how did he lose it? Well, we were, in fact, I had a tweet prepared on the podcast account to say electric tennis from tiafoe. He's found his U.S. open tiebreak form. And of course he won so many tiebreaks in that tournament. I think a record breaking number. He was 6 one up. He was, he was playing fantastically, and then there were some cheap errors in there for sure from that position. It was almost like he had too much of a lead. He got a little bit casual and hacked wrestled it from him. I mean, he shows up at slams and he's so sort of powerful from the baseline and just well, I feel like I can't really say that because that's just that's just your word. It's David's word. Yeah, it's both of your words. It fits. It does. Without being sort of he's not showing off it, is he? He's not on foot of it with his shirt off, celebration. But he's just low key, incredibly straight. It's very stammering alike, isn't it? Strength and fitness, you know, getting stronger as the match goes on seemingly in that tallies with his career because it feels like outside of the slams, he barely registers registers on the radar really these days and know we want Paris. And obviously he's had the odd result, but he very rarely factors in. But comes alive, Islam. I think he's trying to get the most out of himself. And that's the slams is where you want to do that. Look, he is limited. He has a limitation on him. I don't think he's going to become a significantly better player than he always was, but he can beat people who probably have a higher ceiling, and he's done it. I mean, he got a bit lucky against Jack Draper at the U.S. open, but he's done it against Cameron norrie. I've seen him do it against a few players and really know tiafoe's thinking and we're thinking TFO is going to be going deep in this tournament and he's just a horrible roadblock to a player like that unless TFO's absolutely on it all the way through and he what he was too slow out of the blocks. He was, but he was absolutely on it in that tiebreak. He was astonishing in the tie break 6 one, the crowd were high on fire. It was like he was Ozzy. They were already blocking out their calendars for the 5th set, you know, canceling whatever they had on. It was just a given, you know, Francis TFO was in. He did he did his, you know, he does that charismatic, confident nod towards his team. What are you stressing about? I've got this. This is fine. And I trusted him and believed him. I thought he was such a banker this tournament. When asked for my newsletter prediction yesterday, my thought process was, I'm not going to take any risks. I just need to bank a few points. And I went to the effort because that's how I'd started to feel about him at slams. And look at, I don't want to be too harsh on him because I don't think that's a terrible defeat at all. You know, we just discuss what hasn't do at slams. But it is the sort of defeat that Francis tiafoe has had and has had a fair bit at slams. You know, showing us what he can do, but ultimately coming up a little bit short. And I thought they'd been a shift. I really thought I've reframed how I feel about Francis TFO after the U.S. open last year and after saying what he said after that defeat to alcaraz. I'll be back. I'll win this thing one day and the new intent he's got the way he's talking in fronting up to some of the early stages of his career when he doesn't feel like he worked hard enough. I don't know, still very well might be of new Francis tiafoe. I hope so. But today I used to feed wasn't new Frances. Disappointment for him.