For Frances Tiafoe his season has come to an end maybe earlier than he’d have hoped for.
I said in a preview piece he had a point to prove in what was his final appearance at the NextGen finals and I feel like we are walking into 2020 with a few more questions than answers.
Offering questions but not answers…
I’ve watched a lot of Frances this week and I’ve liked what I have seen but I do feel he does face an uphill battle in matches.
Frances isn’t going to hit you off the court and will offer questions to opponents rather than coming up with his own answers.
4-3 2-4 2-4 2-4 v Sinner (20 W 14 UNF) Sinner (31 W 20 UNF)
4-2 4-2 3-4 4-1 v Humbert (16 W 12 UNF) Humbert (33 W 25 UNF)
4-2 4-2 4-2 v Ymer ( 9 W 15 UNF) Ymer (15 W 13 UNF)
2-4 1-4 4-0 2-4 v De Minaur (17 W 11 UNF) De Minaur (25 W 15 UNF)
All four opponents hit more winners than Tiafoe during his four matches and three hit more unforced errors.
Now I can look at that and say he held his own well or I could say not enough risk. Hitting less winners is a problem because there hasn’t been any answers put against the two inform guys in Sinner and De Minaur.
I feel like the main inconsistency in his game is not having a standout shot, the variation in shot success during his time in Milan showed glimpses but nothing that will sustain much pressure on the opponent
v Sinner (FH – 13 W 6 UNF & BH – 0 W 8 UNF)
v Humbert (FH – 7 W 8 UNF & BH – 8 W 3 UNF)
v Ymer (FH – 4 W 12 UNF & BH – 3 W 3 UNF)
v De Minaur (FH – 5 W 6 UNF & BH – 6 W 5 UNF)
The numbers don’t inspire, the forehand was strong against Sinner when he lost but against Ymer in his straight sets win was bad. Obviously against different players different shots have success but it seems a bit hit and hope at times.
29 forehand winners, 32 forehand errors, 17 backhand winners and 19 errors in four matches.
More errors than winners.
I think there has been success for Frances. The two guys he struggled against have been the most inform. It has highlighted the need for a better plan in his game. We’ve seen good performances against Humbert and Ymer where he has dug into rallies and asked questions forcing the errors but that next level he needs more control.
He did get a set against De Minaur but it felt more like De Minaur dropping than himself taking it too him and in the change overs he wasn’t happy when in conversation with his coach…
After the first two sets it was;
After winning the third set;
I imagine he has aspirations of getting to Rio for the Olympics but only the top 4 from each qualified country qualify. He is currently the 5th topped ranked American in the top 100 out of 8 so does need to get some wins on the board.
At the same time he does risk potentially falling outside the top 75 in the world if he doesn’t defend his Australian Open quarter final points.