Mahut 6-3 7-6 Tiafoe – American given the run-around despite a late resurgence

At one point it did like being a short afternoon for Frances Tiafoe. The American down a set and a break was being given the run-around but a small fightback never really ignited his chances to extend this to a third set as Nicolas Mahut for the majority of the match gave him the run around.

I sad in my preview piece for the tournament I still don’t understand Frances and the first 14-15 games I was a bit lost.

It was this volley following the serve.

Screenshot 2019-06-17 at 15.24.28

Image Credit – BBC Sport / Queens

I love the idea of serve and volley down 15-30 but the execution was poor. His foot-work wasn’t stable, it was nervous and that ended with the ball ending up out. A confident play would have put it away cleanly down the line or even slice it over the net cross court.

Similar issue again with the serve and volley.

Screenshot 2019-06-17 at 17.23.36

Image Credit – BBC Sport / Queens

For me, this starts with the serve.

If you are going to serve and volley then your serve has to stand up. The position on the top of the two photos where Frances is stood is trouble for the American. The serve out-wide didn’t have enough on it. It’s come back with interest and with Tiafoe coming to the net the pressure is now on him.

A strong serve down the T from the American would have been met by a stretching forehand of Mahut allowing him to come forward and chose where to go.

Instead, Mahut got interest and suddenly it becomes a reaction at the net, it comes so quick at him he can only touch it back towards the Frenchman who then hits the passing winner.

I like to see a bit of a mix-up but it felt panicked. One of the best on the tour for me at serve and volley at big moments is Stefanos Tsitsipas.

I felt like Mahut did give him the run-around if I’m honest. The backhand and forehand just didn’t get going until mid-way through the second set but by then it was too late I felt Mahut even when things were level just had the edge and he was the one asking all the questions of the American who will be disappointed to finish this early at Queens.

13 wins & 14 defeats this season with a career record of 50 wins & 71 defeats…

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