Frances Tiafoe slammed for lack of respect after Vienna Open win – ‘Went too far’

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Tennis star Frances Tiafoe has been accused of disrespecting his opponent in the way he celebrated reaching the final of the Vienna Open. The American came from behind to knock world number 11 Jannik Sinner out of the competition, but the Italian was not happy with his opponents antics during and after their match.

Tiafoe, 23, reached only his third ATP Tour final with the win, and had been working hard to get the crowd involved as he pushed towards that target.

The Vienna locals responded and their support possible helped the American to come back from losing the first set.

Sinner won the first set 6-3 but lost the second 7-5 despite having led 5-3 and was then comfortably beaten 6-2 in the final set.

The defeat will have hurt, and in the immediate aftermath he was quick to denounce the way Tiafoe had behaved during the match.

“In my opinion Tiafoe went too far today, he did too much,” Sinner said of the winner.

“It’s one thing when you put on a show, it’s another thing when there’s no respect.

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“I don’t know what happened, but today I think he went a bit too far. There are limits.

“In some moments I was ready, but I had to wait for Tiafoe. Maybe I should have put pressure on the umpire to make him respect the time. But it’s gone now.”

Tiafoe, however, also didn’t waste much time in dismissing the Italian’s comments.

When asked for his response, the American said: “Well, the audience is there for a reason and I can interact with them.

“Jannik had the chance to win the match, then I started playing great tennis and I enjoyed it. I don’t feel guilty.”

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Tiafoe had a chance to become the first American to win the Vienna title since Pete Sampras in 1998.

But he faced a tough assignment in the Austrian capital, and ultimately fell to world number four Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

That win saw the German lift his fifth title of the year – equalling the most of anyone on the ATP Tour this season alongside Casper Ruud.

He has now overtaken the Dane in terms of wins in 2021, and is just three behind Stefanos Tsitsipas’ total of 55.

“I think the Olympics gave me a lot of confidence and I believe I can compete for any title that I play in,” Zverev said after winning in Vienna.

Meanwhile, though Tiafoe will be disappointed to fall at the final hurdle, the American says he is delighted with how this week has gone for him.

“I knew I was capable of a week like this,” the 23-year-old said. “It is not easy to beat good player after good player. These guys are so good.

“To have a week like this and know you can do it and not just beat one top player but three great guys is great.”

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