“I want to put on a show for you guys” – Tiafoe hammers Hurkacz to expand Team World’s lead
Frances Tiafoe put forth a flawless performance to defeat Hubert Hurkacz in straights sets, stretching Team World’s lead to 8-2.
Frances Tiafoe is a four-year veteran of Laver Cup, and the 25-year-old American is growing comfortable with the competition. He strutted his stuff on Saturday night in Vancouver, snapping a personal three-match losing streak against Hubert Hurkacz, 7-5, 6-3, to expand Team World’s lead over Team Europe to 8-2.
What was it exactly that enabled Tiafoe to have a stress-free victory over a player that has been making his life difficult over the last few seasons?
“Everything,” he said. “I played really well tonight. I just came out here and wanted to have fun.”
Tiafoe credits the team environment with helping him perform at his best. He says it motivates him, playing in front of his teammates – and it doesn’t hurt to play in front of a packed and enthusiastic crowd at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
“Just being in the team environment, it’s so foreign to us tennis players, it’s such an individual sport, I just want to compete for the guys, I want to play well for the guys,” Tiafoe said, “and obviously I want to put on a show for you guys, everybody that came out tonight in Vancouver.”
Tiafoe won eight of the final 11 games, breaking for 6-5 in the opening set before holding at love to close it out. In the second set, he broke immediately and didn’t look back the remainder of the way.
Shot of the Laver Cup?
But he did go behind the back. Tiafoe hit a cheeky behind-the-back volley and won the point while serving at 4-3, 15-all in the second set. It was yet another demonstration of his supreme focus on Saturday evening.
“We all get lucky sometimes,” he said of the shot with a laugh. “I mess around a lot in practice and I guess it worked out in that point.”
Next up: Laver Cup doubles – Ben Shelton and Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Gael Monfils and Hubert Hurkacz
About Laver Cup scoring:
Due to the unique scoring of Laver Cup, Team Europe is still very much in the mix.
- All matches count for one point on Friday.
- All matches count for two points on Saturday.
- All matches count for three points on Sunday.