Tiafoe Opens Title Bid In Parma With Win

Frances Tiafoe (photo: Marta Magni)

PARMA, October 6, 2020

The clay-court swing on the ATP Challenger Tour continues this week in Italy with the second edition of the €132,280 Internazionali Di Tennis Emilia Romagna held at the Tennis Club President in Parma. Seven Top 100 players are in action led by World No. 67 Frances Tiafoe, who opened his title bid on Tuesday with a 7-6(1), 6-3 win over Blaz Rola from Slovenia.

The 22-year-old US-American sent down six aces and won 74 per cent of his first-service points to advance to the second round of Italy’s lone ATP Challenger 125 event after one hour and 33 minutes.

In the beginning, it was tough,” Tiafoe told journalist Matteo Mosciatti after the match. “I was missing a lot and had problems to hold my serve but I kept fighting, got my rhythm and I started playing really well.”

Tiafoe will next take on Italian teen sensation Lorenzo Musetti for a re-match of last month’s battle at the Challenger tournament in Forli“He’s a nice kid, playing great tennis. It is going to be great match. Hopefully we can both play good tennis as we did the last time,” said Tiafoe, who lost to the 19-year-old from Carrara in three hard-fought sets.

Earlier in the day, Alexei Popyrin of Australia benefited from the retirement of No. 2 seed Juan Ignacio Londero. The World No. 69 from Argentina was forced to stop competing at the score of 1-6, 2-1 due to a left ankle injury.

German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber booked his place in the second round following a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over #NextGenATP Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild. The No. 6 seed was in control of the encounter, didn’t face a break point and converted four of his own 11 break point chances to prevail after 63 minutes.

“I have faced many difficulties since the re-start of tour. It gives confidence to win a match by playing so well,” Kohlschreiber said and will next take on Italian wild card entry Marco Cecchinato, who defeated Kamil Majchrzak of Poland 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 22 minutes.