If you love American tennis, Monday was not your best of days. With ninth-seed Taylor Fritz still to play, and he keeps the hopes for Americans alive that one of their own can win the Rolex Paris Masters, the rest of the Americans in the field were beaten in the first round. 14th-seed Frances Tiafoe, 15th-seed Ben Shelton, and unseeded Christopher Eubanks all lost.
Tiafoe didn’t come close to giving unseeded Alexander Bublik a real match as he lost 6-3 6-4. Bublik has a thunderous serve and it was working for him on Monday. He had 11 aces and won 30 of his 34 first serves. He didn’t even face a break point.
Meanwhile, Bublik, not known for being a fantastic defender, was able to break Tiafoe twice, once in each set. The American was helpless in returning the Kazakhstani’s serve. Tiafoe won only 7 points on Bublik’s 47 serves. That’s domination.
Tiafoe has been in a slump since making the quarterfinals of the US Open. He’s won just one match in his last eight tries.
Frances Tiafoe part of a trio of Americans to lose Monday at Rolex Paris Masters
Fellow American Ben Shelton, who has been on the uptick over the last couple of months, fell in three sets to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the Spaniard won 7-6(4) 5-7 6-3. Shelton had an excellent serve as he finished with 15 aces. Davidovich Fokina simply was more efficient in the bigger moments as he was not broken in the match but managed to break Shelton twice.
Eubanks’ loss cemented the bad day for Americans. He lost to Tallon Griekspoor from the Netherlands. Eubanks faced high-stress service games for almost the entire match. Griekspoor had 12 chances to break the huge-serving Eubanks and he was able to get a break three times.
Griekspoor served well, too, though. He finished with 10 aces and won 21 of his 32 second serve points. This was really the difference in the match. He won 6-7(2) 6-3 6-4.
Besides Taylor Fritz, American fans also have hopes for Tommy Paul to make a deep run in the Rolex Paris Masters. Paul is up to No. 12 in the live ATP rankings. He is now the No. 2 ranked American behind Fritz.
In non-American tennis news, Andy Murray also lost on Monday. Murray lost to Aussie Alex De Minaur 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5. The top eight seeds of the tournament have the day off and will be in action on Tuesday.