Melbourne, Jan 18 : American youngster Frances Tiafoe made it to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time on Friday, after knocking out veteran stalwart Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open.
Down two sets to one against the Italian, the charismatic 20-year-old battled his way back from the brink to claim an epic five-set contest 6-7 (3), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Still riding high after his shock second round victory over the tournament's fifth seed, Kevin Anderson, Friday's win helped seal Tiafoe as a fan favorite. "I have not heard a roar that big, or that sort of reception for a player who's not Australian," commentators said after the match.
"We've seen so many great players come through here but that was something else."A compelling character on and off the court, Tiafoe was born in the US after his parents had moved there to escape civil war in Sierra Leone.
Now at the top of his game and looking to make his mark on global tennis, Tiafoe will now take on 20th seed Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the quarterfinals. (UNI-XINHUA)