It was never a matter of if Frances Tiafoe was going to eventually win a title on tour, it was a matter of when. The 20-year-old American has had high expectations ever since he turned pro in 2015. Finally, the young American was able to get his hands on the trophy at the Delray Beach Open, defeating German Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 6-4.
There were never any signs of nerves from Tiafoe, who was playing in his first final on the ATP tour. Tiafoe broke Gojowczyk the opening game and never looked back. Tiafoe received entry to the Delray Beach Open via wildcard. His ranking was high enough to receive direct entry into the event, but Tiafoe simply forgot to sign up. With the win, Tiafoe became the first wildcard in the tournament’s 26th-year history to win the event.
After the match, Tiafoe said, “If you asked me 10 years ago, that I was going to win a title at 20 years old I probably would’ve laughed.” Now Tiafoe will be ranked a career-high #61 in the world after this week, with a realistic chance to crack the top the top 50 in the next few weeks.
If you’ve followed Frances Tiafoe and his story on how he got into to tennis, you know just how much his family means to him. Tiafoe went straight to his box after the match where he was greeted by Frances Sr., who was in attendance to see his son’s first title. Tiafoe said, “I don’t know if you guys know the story, but he’s done a lot for me to even be playing tennis, I really appreciate him and everything he did.”
Tiafoe was scheduled to play at the inaugural Indian Wells Challenger next week but wisely decided to pull out and rest up for the main event at Indian Wells beginning on March 8th. If Tiafoe continues to play the way he did this week in Delray Beach, he should be ranked in the top 50 heading into the clay swing.