Tiafoe stuns defending champ Carreño Busta and sets up final with Sousa
Frances Tiafoe defeated defending champion Pablo Carreño Busta in straight sets (6-2, 6-3) to reach his second ATP World Tour final, the first ever on clay.
The #NextGenATP American, who won his maiden ATP event in February (Delray Beach) overpowered his rival with solid service games and raced to seal the win in just 74 minutes.
With early breaks in both sets Tiafoe placed Carreño Busta on the back foot right from the start and never allowed the Spaniard to feel comfortable in his tennis. Carreño-Busta, who has enjoyed a string of great results in Portugal over the last few years - including a semi-final, a final and, last year, the trophy - made a high percentage of unforced errors and fell prey to the varied and physically demanding game dictated by Tiafoe.
“I was pretty loose all through the match. I was having fun. I was serving pretty good and was really aggressive. He had no answers for me and things just went my way,” said Tiafoe in his post-match press conference.
In the final Tiafoe, who currently sits at No. 64 in the world ranking, will go up against a mighty opponent in the shape of João Sousa. The local favourite will undoubtedly enjoy the support of the Portuguese crowd but Tiafoe is ready to battle it out and fight for his second ATP trophy.