April 18, 2024

Open Court


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – A few days ago, American Frances Tiafoe announced he was adding former top-10 player Wayne Ferreira to his coaching team.

Wednesday, they were hard at work on the practice courts at Indian Wells.

Tiafoe has lost in the first round of four of his five ATP-level tournaments so far this season.

He did post two wins (including a solid one over countryman Tommy Paul), at the Delray Beach event.

And he has had some tough draws; getting Stan Wawrinka in the first round of Acapulco was no picnic.

Tiafoe played well overall in a tough 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 win by Wawrinka there (although not in the deciding tiebreak, for sure).

Career best just 12 months ago

When Tiafoe arrived in the desert a year ago, he was ranked No. 35 – just a few weeks off of his career high of No. 29 reached after making the Australian Open quarterfinals.

He can pick up points at the big Indian Wells event. But he has a quarterfinal at the Miami Open to defend.

Right now, he’s at No. 81 and it’s all going in the wrong direction.

At No. 35 a year ago, Tiafoe has watched his ranking drop to No. 81 in 12 months. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

He has played a few Challengers this year in the U.S., at Newport Beach and in Dallas. And he’s playing the Indian Wells Challenger this week as well, as the No. 8 seed.

Tiafoe defeated longtime friend Michael Mmoh 6-4, 6-3 in the second round, and awaits the winner between Mischa Zverev and Gregoire Barrere in the third round.

Wednesday, he was out on the practice court with Ferreira and longtime coach Zack Evenden. It looks like a very positive side that he’s reaching out for addition help to turn things around before it really becomes a thing.

He’s far too good to be ranked No. 81 in the world.

Here’s what the practice looked like.

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