‘Novak Djokovic is trying to achieve something crazy, and I want to..,’ says Tiafoe

The 23-year-old Frances Tiafoe has enjoyed a mediocre season so far, barely scoring more wins than losses. The American had a solid grass campaign, and he wants to carry that form into Tokyo Olympics, where he plays against Soonwoo Kwon in the first round. Frances is confident in his ability to cause major upsets in Tokyo, hoping to play against Novak Djokovic and end his incredible streak at the notable tournaments in 2021. The American prefers to face the Serb in the best-of-three matches, and their previous clash came at this year’s Australian Open, with Djokovic scoring a hard-fought 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 triumph in three and a half hours. Novak hit 26 aces and lost serve twice, delivering five breaks and avoiding a decider under a boiling Melbourne sun.

Frances Tiafoe would love to beat Novak Djokovic at the Olympic Games.

Both players had more winners than unforced errors, and it was Novak who found an extra gear when he needed it the most to move over the top and advance into the third round. Novak claimed the opener with a double break after 33 minutes, and they fought much harder in set number two. The American saved three break opportunities in the second set and claimed the tie break 7-3 to extend his chances. The youngster dug deep in the third set to overcome the deficit and reach another tie break, that Novak won 7-2 to secure another lead. Djokovic broke Tiafoe twice in the fourth set to move over the top after a grueling battle that could have gone into a decider.

“Novak is a straight pro. His everyday process is crazy. I’m not surprised he’s playing in Tokyo. He’s trying to achieve something extremely crazy this year, and obviously, I hope I can be the guy to stop him. I love seeing the greatness, and if I can stop it, that would be cool. We’ll see. I don’t mind the matchup against him. I like facing Novak in the best-of-three format rather than the best-of-five. The Olympic Games offer a completely different format; it’s a team event, everyone is super nervous. You’re trying to fight for a medal, and it’s not like you’re with your whole individual team. It’s different. Everyone is out of their comfort zone, and how do you get comfortable being uncomfortable? I feel like, for me, it’s kind of open, and I’m just going to have a good experience and try to play my best,” Frances Tiafoe said. 

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