Tiafoe wins Stuttgart Open, breaks into world top 10 ranking

Tiafoe wins Stuttgart Open, breaks into world top 10 ranking

American tennis player of Sierra Leonean descent Frances Tiafoe defeated Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 on Sunday to emerge as the winner of the Stuttgart Open.

The 25-year-old, who won the third title of his career, broke into the world top 10 ranking to become only the third African-American tennis player to break into the top 10, joining Arthur Ashe and James Blake.

A semi-finalist in the just concluded U.S. Open, Tiafoe survived a championship point in the third-set tiebreak to seal a thrilling win over Struff for his first grass-court title ahead of next month’s Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

After the win, the tennis star, who has now reached a career-high number 10, said he feels overjoyed and revealed he would never forget the win.

“Super emotional. For a guy like me, with my story and everything,” said Tiafoe, who was born to in Maryland, US, to Sierra Leone parents.

“I’m a guy who shouldn’t even really be here doing half the things he’s doing.

“And now when you say his name, you can say he’s top 10 in the world. So [that is] something that no one can take from you and I’m going to remember that forever. And hopefully, I can ride that for a long time,” he said

Tiafoe has won titles on every surface he has played on after he claimed the Houston clay court earlier in the year, adding to his triumph on the Delray Beach hardcourts in 2018.

“It shows that I’m a complete player, Tiafoe said. “When I’m locked in I can play on every surface.

He and number eight, Taylor Fritz, are the first American duo in the top 10 since Mardy Fish and John Isner in May 2012.

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