Fixture: (8) Frances Tiafoe vs Bjorn Fratangelo
Date: 10 January 2021
Tournament: Delray Beach Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Delray Beach, Florida, United States
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $349,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Frances Tiafoe vs Bjorn Fratangelo preview
USA's Frances Tiafoe is showing signs of getting back to his peak 2019 form, when he was ranked in the top 30.
Tiafoe ended the 2020 season with some impressive results, which included reaching the fourth round of the US Open for the first time and winning an ATP Challenger in Italy. He also reached the semifinals in Nur-Sultan.
In addition, the 22-year-old won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award later in the year for taking a vocal stand against racial injustice during the Black Lives Matter movement.
Tiafoe's second-round opponent at the Delray Beach Open is his countryman Bjorn Fratangelo. The 27-year-old is a former World No. 99, but is currently languishing at the 274th rank.
Fratangelo had a prolific junior career, and even won the 2011 French Open boys' title - where he defeated current World No. 3 Dominic Thiem. The American has struggled with injuries in recent years though; he played only five events in 2020, posting a 5-5 record.
Frances Tiafoe vs Bjorn Fratangelo head-to-head
Frances Tiafoe and Bjorn Fratangelo have never played each other on the ATP Tour, and therefore the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
The two have, however, met on four occasions outside the ATP Tour. Tiafoe won the first of those encounters back in 2015, while Fratangelo won their next three matches in the 2015-16 period.
Frances Tiafoe vs Bjorn Fratangelo prediction
Frances Tiafoe started off the 2021 season by registering an impressive 6-3, 6-4 first-round win over compatriot Donald Young. Bjorn Fratangelo meanwhile scored a 6-2, 6-2 win over American qualifier Kevin King, which marked his first win at the ATP tour level since August 2019.
Fratangelo is a solid player, but lacks a major weapon in his game that he can rely on to win easy points. Moreover, he is yet to return to his peak physical state after recovering from a slew of injuries.
Tiafoe has a much bigger game, built around a strong first serve and powerful groundstrokes, which should help him win this match.
Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win in straight sets.Published 09 Jan 2021, 15:59 IST