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.
Serena Williams after first-round win: ‘I just need to play with more confidence, like I’m Serena’
Williams pushed to a tie-break in the first set.
Liam Broady’s French Open main draw debut ends in opening-round defeat
Broady came through qualifying for the first time at a grand slam.
No US Open hangover for Dominic Thiem as he makes impressive French Open start
US Open champ Dominic Thiem continues winning run.
‘I will do everything I can to keep Roger Federer No 1,’ jokes Dominic Thiem
Thiem eyeing a few more Grand Slam titles.
2020 French Open: Follow the action from Roland Garros with our live scores centre…
Catch the action with our live scores centre…
Dan Evans on the balls being used at the 2020 French Open: ‘You wouldn’t give to a dog to chew’
Dan Evans clearly not a fan of the French Open balls.
Miserable day for British hopes at gloomy French Open as Dan Evans, Andy Murray, Johanna Konta exit
Three British players lost on day one at Roland Garros.
Alexander Zverev puts US Open agony behind him as he makes strong French Open start
Zverev was playing his first match since losing to Thiem.
French Open day one: British trio crash out, Simona Halep makes it 15 wins in a row, what’s up next
The story of the opening day of play at Roland Garros.
‘I just didn’t play well,’ says Johanna Konta after ‘unfortunate’ off day at French Open
Konta makes early exit after reaching semi-final in 2019.