Date: 8 January 2021
Tournament: Delray Beach Open 2021
Round: Round of 32 (First round)
Venue: Delray Beach, Florida, United States
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $349,530
Match timing: 8.30 pm EST, 7 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Frances Tiafoe vs Donald Young preview
It's been almost two years since 22-year-old Frances Tiafoe reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal (at the Australian Open) and peaked at No. 29 in the world rankings. His ranking has slid to No. 62 now, but the American has managed to put in some solid performances since then.
The past six months in particular have been quite fruitful for the young American, both on and off the court. Tiafoe was one of the leading male players to take a stand against racial injustice during the Black Lives Matter movement last year. That helped him clinch the 2020 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award at the 2020 ATP Awards.
On the court, Tiafoe has posted some impressive results since the tour resumed in August. The American reached the fourth round of the US Open for the first time, and followed it up by winning the ATP Challenger title in Parma, Italy.
He ended the season by reaching the semifinals in Nur-Sultan, indicating that he may be ready to break back into the top 50.
The 31-year-old Donald Young meanwhile is playing his first tournament since the tour shut down last March. A former top 40 player, Young is now ranked No. 327 in the world.
Young achieved incredible success as a junior. He became the youngest male to win a Grand Slam junior event when he triumphed at the 2005 Australian Open. That same year, he also became the youngest year-end World No. 1 in the ITF junior boys rankings.
Young has struggled to replicate that same level of success at the professional level. But he has managed to put together a decent if not remarkable career, finishing the season in the top 100 every year between 2011 and 2017 barring 2012. He also reached the French Open doubles final in 2017.
Frances Tiafoe vs Donald Young head-to-head
Frances Tiafoe and Donald Young have never played each other on the ATP tour, and therefore the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
The two have met twice outside the ATP Tour level though, with Tiafoe winning their first encounter - at a Challenger event in Tallahassee in 2016. Young managed to exact revenge at the Queen's Club qualifying event a few months later that same year.
Frances Tiafoe vs Donald Young prediction
Frances Tiafoe and Donald Young have very different playing styles. The 6 ft 2-inch Tiafoe plays an aggressive game, built around his powerful serve and forehand. Meanwhile, the 6ft Young is more of a counterpuncher, relying on his court craft to outfox and wear down his opponents.
Both have had success at this event in the past. Tiafoe is a former champion at Delray Beach, winning the title in 2018, while Young reached the final in 2015 and the semis in 2017.
This will be Tiafoe's first match of the season whereas Young has already scored two three-set wins in the qualifying event to advance to the main draw. That said, Tiafoe's more powerful game and good form over the past six months should help him come through this match.
Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win in three sets.Published 07 Jan 2021, 16:02 IST