Tiafoe Tames Bublik To Reach Washington Third Round
American to meet Medvedev or Fratangelo in third round
Frances Tiafoe made a winning start to his home tournament on Tuesday, moving past Alexander Bublik 6-1, 7-6(5) at the Citi Open.
The 16th seed advanced to the third round in Washington for the first time, saving four of six break points against the Newport runner-up en route to victory. Tiafoe entered the tournament on a four-match tour-level losing streak, but proved the more consistent player throughout the 79-minute encounter.
The Maryland native covered the court well and benefitted from 13 Bublik unforced errors to take the first set after 24 minutes. Bublik moved up the court and experimented with underarm serves in key moments to unsettle his opponent in the second set, but Tiafoe once again found his way through. The 21-year-old rallied from 3-5 down and clinched the tie-break as Bublik committed his 10th double fault of the match.
Tiafoe will face third seed Daniil Medvedev or Bjorn Fratangelo for a spot in the quarter-finals. The World No. 40 is yet to meet either player at tour-level.
Yoshihito Nishioka will meet seventh seed David Goffin for a spot in the third round. The 23-year-old earned his 10th tour-level win of the season with a 6-4, 6-1 victory against Daniel Evans.
Miomir Kecmanovic also advanced, saving all six break points he faced to beat Alexei Popyrin 7-6(6), 6-3. The Serbian, who reached his maiden ATP Tour final in Antalya in June, will face 15th seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round.