Frances Tiafoe off to a solid start in Houston, but Fernando Verdasco out
Frances Tiafoe claimed a straightforward win in the opening round in Houston, but former champion Fernando Verdasco was an early casualty.
American Tiafoe beat his compatriot Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour to secure his first clay-court win at Tour level.
“I really like it. I really enjoy it. Ton of clay courts where I grew up in College Park in Maryland, so I think it’s my best surface,” the 20-year-old said.
“I think it’s more fun playing [on clay]. You can really see who has intangibles, moving and sliding and playing. But I played really well tonight.”
However, the 2014 Houston winner Verdasco crashed out as he went down to Denis Kudla with the world No 144 claiming a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory.
Kudla, who before the match had won only two ATP Tour matches on the surface, will take on Ivo Karlovic or Taro Daniel in the second round.
“I thought it was a great performance by me on the clay. I honestly did not think I really had a high chance of winning this match,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and make him earn it and kind of blow me off the court.”
“I executed my game plan. I moved well and I came up with good serves to set up a good first ball in big moments.”
There were also wins for Americans Tennys Sandgren and Bjorn Fratangelo.
Andy Murray finally delivers a knockout punch against a top-10 player as he beats Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna
The pieces continue to fall into place for Andy Murray as he finally gets a win over a top-10 player.
‘I don’t think there is any pressure, but everyone should be a little patient with me,’ urges Emma Raducanu
The US Open winner is seeking her first WTA Tour match victory.
Cameron Norrie headlines Great Britain’s Davis Cup Finals squad with Andy Murray left out as expected
World No 14 Norrie is Great Britain’s top-seeded player in the ATP Rankings.
High praise for Emma Raducanu from Simona Halep as Romanian highlights US Open champion’s feature qualities
“I think what impressed me was her aggressiveness.”
WTA Finals race between Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit heats up as Tunisian jokingly urges rival to ‘back off’
Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit enjoy some online banter.
‘Becoming the No 1 in the world is still the goal’ for ‘experienced’ Daniil Medvedev
“If I’ll catch up with him this year, excellent, but if not I will try to do it down the road.”
‘I am proud of putting myself in a position to compete with the top guys,’ says Andy Murray
“It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing,” says Murray.
Novak Djokovic and co to be given Australian Open lifeline? Leaked email suggests vaccination policy U-turn
Policy U-turn set to open door for unvaccinated players?
Jannik Sinner and Aslan Karatsev are big ATP Tour winners on finals Sunday
Aslan Karatsev won the VTB Kremlin Cup.
Emma Raducanu opens up on her coaching dilemma as she aims to shine in Romania
Raducanu is relaxed at the prospect of finishing the season without a coach.