Unseeded American Frances Tiafoe secured the biggest win of his career on Monday, as Stefanos Tsitsipas' Wimbledon demons got the better of him yet again. Just two weeks after nearly defeating Novak Djokovic in the French Open final, Tsitsipas was upset in Round 1 by Tiafoe, losing 4-6, 4-6, 3-6.
Tiafoe was in control from the very first game. He never had a commanding lead, but Tsitsipas consistently looked overmatched and uncomfortable. Tiafoe played a tactically brilliant match, taking advantage of Tsitsipas' weaker backhand and forcing him into errors by rushing. He played the big points better, and the ball fell his way.
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) June 28, 2021
A huge upset is brewing - third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is on the ropes against Frances Tiafoe!
The American has taken the first two sets and is in the box seat.
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— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) June 28, 2021
There were a few moments when Tsitsipas looked like he was getting it together. He had a slight surge to start the second set, briefly taking the lead, but wasn't able to hold it for more than a few games. He surged again midway through the third set as he was facing the possibility of a straight sets defeat, coming close to tying Tiafoe. Down 4-3, Tsitsipas went up 30-0 and almost broke Tiafoe's serve for the first time all match. But he couldn't hold on to that lead either, losing that game, and then the entire match shortly after.
Tiafoe had a slight advantage over Tsitsipas going into Wimbledon. He played three grass court warm-ups, winning the Nottingham Challenger and making it to the quarterfinals at the Queen's Club Championships. Tsitsipas, after making it to the final at Roland-Garros, elected not to play any grass court warm-up tournaments. It was a puzzling decision for Tsitsipas given his overall history at Wimbledon. He lost his first round match in 2019, the last time Wimbledon was held, and did the same thing in 2017.
Tiafoe's preparation paid off. This was his first-ever win over an ATP top five player (Tsitsipas is ranked No. 4 in the world), and the first time since 2017 that an American man has beaten a top three seed at a Grand Slam.
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