What’s Happened To Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul?
Frances Tiafoe is only 18, but since he extended world no. 18 (at the time) David Goffin to three sets after beating Taylor Fritz at Indy Wells, Tiafoe has gone 15-9 in mostly Challenger events, and has not won a tournament. He has only beaten two Top 100 players in Donald Young and John Millman. And even more concerning is Tiafoe has not qualified in any of the three slams this year, winning a total of three matches in the three slam qualifying draws and making an early first round qualy exit at Wimbledon this week.
Tommy Paul, 19, has done worse than Tiafoe in his maiden pro season. The North Carolinian has only beaten one top 100 player, Lorenzi no. 58 in Houston, and after a pretty nice tournament in Acapulco, where he beat Radu and J-P Smith before losing to Marchenko in the last round of qualies, Paul has also won only one slam Qualie match before going down in the first round of the Wimby Qualies. Worse yet, in Sarasota and Savannah Challengers, Paul lost in the first round to James McGee and Brian Baker, in the latter match Paul could only win four games. Compare Tiafoe and Paul to Taylor Fritz, 18 and no. 63, the player he beat only a little more than one year ago in the Junior French Open finals, who just lost a three-set match to Roger Federer in Stuttgart, and something stinks in Denmark or wherever Tiafoe and Paul are practicing.
Let’s hope both teens turn around their years starting in Newport, R.I. where I will interview Fritz, who’s listed as playing in the main draw, and hopefully Paul, who will have to qualify if he plays Newport.