Editor’s Note: ATPTour.com is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players and tournaments during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 2 August 2019.
One of the golden rules in sport is to never take your eyes off the ball.
But, during a remarkable rally at the 2019 Citi Open, Frances Tiafoe believed he had done enough to win the first point in a crucial game against Daniil Medvedev. He was wrong.
The exchange, which was featured as Play of the Day on ABC’s breakfast programme, Good Morning America, saw home favourite Tiafoe bring Medvedev to the net with a drop shot before flicking a backhand volley past his opponent and turning his back on the court. But, with impressive speed, Medvedev changed direction to track down the ball and chip it into the vacant space for a winner.
Despite his lapse in concentration with Medvedev serving for the match, Tiafoe did manage to eventually break serve and reach 5-5. But Medvedev responded quickly to claim the win two games later, setting a quarter-final clash against Marin Cilic. The Russian reached the final, losing against Nick Kyrgios.