Daily Bagel: Scouting Francis Tiafoe
The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.
• Some thoughts from Jeff Sackman of Heavy Topspin on 16-year-old Francis Tiafoe's ATP debut at the Citi Open on Monday night. Tiafoe lost to Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-4.
He lit up the radar gun with both serves and forehands, but neither was steady enough to avoid getting broken by Donskoy three times. His backhand, the less showy but more consistent half of his ground game, was sufficiently solid to keep him in points, but aside from a couple of down-the-line bullets, it was rarely enough to win them.
Both serve and forehand are, at this stage of his development, very complicated shots. His serve is a bit jerky, and his second serve is particularly erratic. A more offensive kick serve would do wonders for his service game.
The forehand is an even bigger problem. It’s easy to get fooled by the occasional big winner–he did hit some sensational shots from that wing last night. The bigger picture, though, is that his big, not-very-fluid windup prevents him from hitting the effective rallying shots that are absolutely necessary to compete at this level.
• Naomi Osaka, 16, of Japan made her WTA Tour debut on Monday and upended No. 19 Sam Stosur 4-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 at the Bank of the West Classic. The Twitter reaction to her big game was great.
• Tom Tebbutt with your Canadian tennis update.
• It takes a big hitter to know a big hitter:
• Milos Raonic kicks off his hard-court season with confidence and motivation after his semifinal appearance at Wimbledon.
• Laura Robson is a new ambassador for British charity SportAid so obviously she's now BFF with Kate Middleton.
• The Radwanska sisters on the cover of Shape in Poland.
• Non-tennis: BuzzFeed takes on TMZ.