WATCH: Angry Frances Tiafoe loses Davis Cup match point after explosive racket smash

Kevin Palmer
Frances Tiafoe playing USA in the Davis Cup
Frances Tiafoe playing USA in the Davis Cup

The Davis Cup brings out the passion in players and Frances Tiafoe confirmed he was up for the fight as he represented the USA in their match against the Netherlands in Split.

With his match against Dutch rival Tallon Griekspoor reaching a conclusion in the deciding set tie-break, Tiafoe had a heated discussion with the chair umpire as he insisted a point should be replayed after a line-call was overturned on a Hawkeye appeal.

When he didn’t get his way, Tiafoe smashed his racket in a violent manner and as he did so on match point, the umpire had no option other than to declare the match was over and confirm Griekspoor as the winner.

Botic van de Zandschulp had already beaten Tommy Paul 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the opening singles match, which meant the USA lost the tie against the Netherlands, but it was Tiafoe’s angry outburst that quickly became a big talking point on social media.

“I just believed in myself,” said Griekspoor.

“I stayed calm, still went after my shots like I did the whole match. That’s what paid off in the end, I think.

“I played a really good tie-break until 6/2, just kept going after it and kept believing and that’s what got me through in the end.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic leaps to Carlos Alcaraz’s defence after controversial decision

The defeat leaves USA battling to qualify for the Davis Cup finals in Malaga in November, as they now face a decisive match against Finland on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the Davis Cup, Canada’s defence of the title is on course after an impressive 3-0 win against Sweden, with Vasek Pospisil and Gabriel Diallo winning their singles matches.

There was also a big win for Australia, as they bounced back from their defeat against Great Britain on Wednesday to grind out an impressive victory against France in Manchester.

Alex De Minaur inspired a revival for Australia as Lleyton Hewitt’s men recovered from 1-0 down to beat France and keep alive their hopes of reaching the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga.

Adrian Mannarino gave France a flying start as he beat Max Purcell 7-6(4) 6-4 to give France an early lead before De Minaur beat Ugo Humbert and Matt Ebden and Max Purcell then won the decisive doubles against Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5 6-3.

“It feels great. It feels like redemption from yesterday,” said the world No 12 De Minaur.

“I haven’t had too many days like yesterday. I’ve normally delivered when I put on the green and gold so [I’m] happy I was able to reset from yesterday and deliver a must-win match.

“I didn’t do anything extraordinary. The only thing I did was keep us alive. Give ourselves another chance. And that’s what this team is gonna do.”

Australia now need a win against Switzerland on Saturday to push for a place in the final round of the Davis Cup in Malaga, with Great Britain and France firmly in the mix in a highly competitive Group B.

The Davis Cup continues into the weekend as sixteen nations have earned the right to participate in the Finals Group Stage, which is taking place across four European cities – Bologna, Manchester, Split and Valencia – this week.

The 16 nations are divided into four groups and will compete in a round-robin format. The top two teams in each group after the round-robin will advance to the Final 8 where they will have the chance to be crowned world champions in the men’s world cup of tennis.