Dominic KOEPFER masterclass, a three-set victory over Frances TIAFOE at Mexican Open

Thursday, 29 February 2024 at 03:58
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Dominik Koepfer (No. 58) defeated Frances Tiafoe (No. 16) 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, securing a spot in the quarterfinals of the Mexican Open. The German controlled the match, and despite a comeback attempt by the American, Koepfer proved more decisive, especially in crucial points.
Tiafoe, seeded 8th, advanced through the first round against Max Purcell (No. 62) with a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. On the other hand, Koepfer benefited from Cameron Norrie's (No. 29) withdrawal before the match and faced Terence Atmane (No. 146), a qualifier, defeating him 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
In the opening set, Koepfer initially struggled to defend his serve, saving four break points against him. However, in the third game, he secured the only break of the set, establishing an advantage that proved insurmountable for Big-Foe.
The second set saw both players capitalizing on break opportunities. In the first six games, five break points were played, ending with two breaks on each side, maintaining the equality. With the score tied at 5-5, Tiafoe faced a 0-40 deficit on his serve, but Koepfer couldn't convert. In the 12th game, Tiafoe seized his sole break chance, taking the set.
Nevertheless, Koepfer showcased a high level in his return game, challenging Tiafoe in nearly every game. The third set was almost a monologue for Koepfer, who only dropped two points on his serve and secured three breaks out of four opportunities, ultimately winning the match 6-4, 5-6, 6-1.
The German, currently ranked as world No. 47, achieves a career-best position just under two months before turning 30. In the quarterfinals, he could face either the North American qualifier Aleksandr Kovacevic (No. 93) or the second seed Holger Rune (No. 8).

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