Frances Tiafoe continues to cruise through the early rounds of the U.S. Open.
The No. 10-seeded American secured a spot in the third round for the fourth straight year after defeating Austria’s Sebastian Ofner 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in a brisk hour and 32 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday night.
The victory sets Tiafoe up for a bout with No. 22 seed Adrian Mannarino of France on Friday.
“Really good match,” said Tiafoe, who sported a turquoise set on the court. “The only part I can complain about is how I served early in the match. But I picked it up, for sure. From the back of the court I was really solid, clinical, not many mistakes at all. … I thought I played much better than my first match as an intensity standpoint.
“Yeah, I really feel like I was on him the whole time. It was a good performance. It was solid.”
Ofner struggled mightily with Tiafoe’s powerful serve all match, which prevented the 27-year-old from ever really getting a handle on the pace of play.
It was the first time these two players ever squared off, as well as Ofner’s first time competing under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
While Ofner never quite settled in, Tiafoe appeared to be right at home with the home crowd behind him.
Tiafoe posted an impressive 88 win percentage on his first serve, in addition to converting on five of six break points.
He lost just 16 points in 13 service games.
There were several moments of pure dominance from Tiafoe, who blasted 21 winners and went on a seven-game tear between the second and third sets.
Ofner also went without a single point in six games overall.
Tiafoe has been rock solid through the first two rounds, showing that same spark he had during his breakout run to the semifinals in Flushing Meadows last year.
So far, he’s only dropped 16 games in six sets played.
The next matchup with Mannarino may be Tiafoe’s first real test of the tournament.
Mannarino, who advanced after a four-set win over Hungary’s Fabian Marozsan on Wednesday, beat Tiafoe in their first meeting in 2016.
The two haven’t played one another in five years, so it’ll be a high-stakes reintroduction.
“It’s going to be tough,” Tiafoe said. “He’s real tough. Kind of bumps the ball around. Kind of use my pace, redirect. I played him here a lot of years ago. I was super young. He was seeded. I think we played first or second round.
“Got him there, so hopefully repeat the same thing and keep it pushing. I’m playing great tennis. Yeah, I’m going to have the crowd with me.
“Try to keep this thing going.”
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