Frances Tiafoe is certainly a great showman on the court, but he adds to that an element of great athleticism. Tiafoe can cover the court as well as anyone on the ATP tour. That showed on Monday against Milos Raonic at the National Bank Open when Raonic clipped the net with a forehand, Tiafoe ran to get to the ball and hit the ball back for a winner, but then chaos ensued.
See, a player is not supposed to run into the net during a tennis match so even though the American was able to get to the ball (when most humans wouldn’t even have tried), he touched the net with his body so the point could have been Roanic’s. Normally it would have except for one oddity of the rule book and chair umpire Fergus Murphy is experienced enough to know the rules extremely well.
As Frances Tiafoe hit the net, he was actually out wider than the singles court (he was where the ball would have still been active in a doubles match). The ball landed in from Raonic, but by the time Tiafoe had reached the ball he was outside the singles court. Therefore, if one imagines a post that would be the end of the singles court, Tiafoe was outside that.
Frances Tiafoe does something you don’t see every day on the court
Initially, the point was awarded to Raonic, but Murphy quickly changed his ruling to award the point – and as the point was the deciding point in the first set then Frances Tiafoe took the first set win as well. Raonic highly disputed the ruling and the crowd was firmly behind him and voiced their frustration by loudly booing (Raonic is Canadian and the National Bank Open on the men’s side is being played in Toronto).
You can see how it all played out below. And it should be noted, that Murphy was right in his call and a supervisor was called over to review and also agreed with Murphy.
In the end, though, Raonic would win the match and upset 10th-ranked Frances Tiafoe in three sets 6-7(12) 7-6(4) 6-3. Raonic will play Taro Daniel on Wednesday in the second round. Tiafoe will next play at the West and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio next week.