World No. 57 Frances Tiafoe claims he knew he would beat Stefanos Tsitsipas when he woke up in the morning on Monday. Tiafoe produced one of the biggest upsets of Day 1 at Wimbledon as he beat world No. 4 Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 6-3.
“I woke up this morning like, ‘Yeah, I'm beating Stefanos’," said Tiafoe, after the fourth Top 10 win of his career. "It’s happened. I think believing it when nobody else does is so big.
“Once I saw the draw coming out, [I thought] these are matches I actually love. I think a lot of guys in the tennis community know that. I play great tennis against high-calibre players”.
Tiafoe loves playing on grass
"It forces me to play the right way,” said Tiafoe, who reached the cinch Championships quarter-finals (l.
to Shapovalov) two weeks ago. “It forces me to play super aggressive. It forces me to be off my front foot on both sides, it forces me to come to the net, because otherwise you're vulnerable”. Tsitsipas, who made the French Open final a few weeks ago, failed to make a transition from clay to grass.
"For sure lack of matches was crucial today. The transition from clay to grass, in my opinion, is probably the most difficult one, if not the biggest challenge in our sport. I just wasn't able to adapt,” Tsitsipas said.
“I obviously didn't want it to be like this, to get to the point where I'm completely out of control. "There wasn't that same fighting spirit that I usually put out on the court. I would like to see a different me next time.
There have been times that I was much more motivated than this. But that's no reason for me not to play well”. Tsitsipas regrets not playing Mallorca or Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon. "I was thinking maybe I should have played either Mallorca or Eastbourne.
These tournaments would have helped get me in a better shaper,” Tsitsipas admitted. “I would like to pinpoint and say that I have all the qualities and the game to play on grass. “I kind of started feeling my game a bit better towards the end of the third set.
I just wish the match would have started in the third set. I wasn't able to maintain the intensity”. Tsitsipas didn't play any events as preparation for Wimbledon. "It could have worked. But it was too late.
I also missed some other things that I later discovered, [which] could have helped me. It was kind of late. When you're two sets to love down, especially on grass, everything is measured up to details, everything is in the details.
“It's not like clay where you are two sets to love down, it's kind of a different rhythm, a different pace, precision is not the most important thing. You can fight your way out of it”.