After making a name for himself by stunning Rafael Nadal on his route to an unexpected appearance in the last four at Flushing Meadows a month ago, the American went on to shine in a prominent role at the Laver Cup.
This week in Tokyo, the world’s number 19 singles player is competing in his first singles competition since the US Open, and he had no trouble defeating a wild card player from Japan named Uchiyama.
In spite of the fact that his recent successes have thrust him squarely into the public eye, Tiafoe said that he was “not really feeling any pressure.”
After Bernabe Zapata Miralles defeated Taro Daniel of Japan 7-5, 7-5, Tiafoe will face Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the second round of the competition.
Tiafoe finished the match against Uchiyama in 1 hour and 12 minutes, during which time he did not drop a single service game.
He explained his success by saying, “I struck the ball well from the ground, I moved well, and I made first serves when I needed them.”
“It was just a straight set match, and I didn’t get broken. It might have been much worse.”
Pedro Martinez of Spain went to the second round with a victory against Alexei Popyrin of Australia by scores of 7-5 and 6-4, while Brandon Nakashima of the United States defeated Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan by scores of 6-3 and 6-2.
Casper Ruud, the top seed from Norway, will begin his tournament on Tuesday against Jaume Munar from Spain. Nick Kyrgios, the top seed from Australia, will begin his tournament later that day against Tseng Chun-hsin from Taiwan.