I dug insanely deep, says Tiafoe after Anderson upset

Frances Tiafoe (AP)
Frances Tiafoe (AP)

Melbourne - Frances Tiafoe rolled up his white shirt's right sleeve, flexed his biceps and slapped the muscle five times. Then he pounded his chest and yelled, "Yeah! Let's go! Let's go! Come on!"

Forgive the young American's exuberance. This was, after all, the biggest victory of his nascent career.

Down a set and 3-0 in the second, the 20-year-old Tiafoe came back to stun two-time Grand Slam finalist and No 5 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 on Tuesday in the Australian Open's second round.

"I went to a different place. I dug insanely deep," the 39th-ranked Tiafoe said during an on-court interview. "It's all about competing. Guys are so good. It's just about how badly you want it. I want it real bad."

It helped that Anderson's best attribute, his intimidating serve, slowed down along the way because of problems with his right arm. Anderson was repeatedly visited by a trainer during changeovers and he lost about 10 kph on his first serves as the match wore on.

Anderson was the runner-up at Wimbledon last year and at the US Open in 2017 and had won all three previous match-ups against Tiafoe.

But Tiafoe ended a six-match losing streak against top-10 opponents and is now into the third round at a major for the second time, equalling his best showing.

Defeat Andreas Seppi of Italy next, and Tiafoe would make his debut in the second week of a Grand Slam.

He turns 21 on Monday and said: "If I'm playing on that day and beat somebody, that's the best present I can get."

Results from Day 3 of the Australian Open on Wednesday:

Men's singles

Second round

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x14) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x19) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

Tomas Berdych (CZE) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x18) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4

Marin Cilic (CRO x6) bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 7-5, 6-7 (9/11), 6-4, 6-4

Frances Tiafoe (USA) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x26) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

Karen Khachanov (RUS x10) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Daniel Evans (GBR) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3

Taylor Fritz (USA) bt Gael Monfils (FRA x30) 6-3, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5)

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x22) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x20) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-5

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 6-7 (15/17), 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10/5)

Alex de Minaur (AUS x27) bt Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-3

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Women's singles

Second round

Sloane Stephens (USA x5) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-1

Petra Martic (CRO x31) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-4, 7-5

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x20) 6-3, 6-3

Caroline Garcia (FRA x19) bt Zoe Hives (AUS) 6-3, 6-3

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x15) bt Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-2, 6-3

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Kiki Bertens (NED x9) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Amanda Anisimova (USA) bt Lesya Tsurenko (UKR x24) 6-0, 6-2

Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-1, 6-4

Danielle Collins (USA) bt Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-3, 7-5

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x3) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-1, 6-3

Kimberly Birrell (AUS) bt Donna Vekic (CRO x29) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1

Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-1, 6-3

Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x11) bt Katie Boulter (GBR) 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x2) bt Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 6-2, 6-3

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