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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 24, 2018


Frances Tiafoe


Miami, Florida

F. TIAFOE/K. Edmund

7-6, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seems like you're playing with such confidence now. Did the Delray Beach title have something to do with that?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I mean, the tournament I had the week before, you know, New York, as I told you in Delray. Just putting in a great training week, really trying to keep everything positive.

Then, yeah, since New York, the 250, I've really been playing some great tennis. Yeah, I'm really happy with where my game is at right now.

Q. You're 4-5 down in the final set. Your opponent is serving for the match. You have a breakpoint to get back to 5-All. What's going through your mind at that point?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Just make the return, make the return, make him play. Yeah, try to put him in an awkward position. I did. I was lucky to win the game.

Q. How much does the confidence really play? You played in matches when you probably didn't have that kind of confidence. How much does that change the dynamics for you?
FRANCES TIAFOE: It's huge. It's everything. Delray taught me a lot. I beat some quality players back-to-back-to-back, which I've never done. I've played so many matches in my career so far where I played unbelievable, came up just short. Now I'm feeling really comfortable when it gets tight. I actually embrace it, I want it.

Yeah, it's fun for me. I'm just trying to ride this wave as long as I can.

Q. In the past, were you maybe not pumping yourself up as much?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Playing not to lose instead of playing to win. I wouldn't play as aggressive. I wouldn't hit a massive serve on the line. I feel like I was just playing points defensive, not doing much.

Now I just take it. If I'm going to lose that way, that's fine. You can live with that. When you back up and try to see what happens, it's tougher to live with.

Q. Talk a little bit about how you were captivated by tennis, chose that path. Franklin didn't really choose a path in tennis.
FRANCES TIAFOE: I wouldn't say 'chose it'. It's hard to create. Playing on the tour, it's not easy. You have to be dedicated from such a young age.

Yeah, I mean, Franklin loves a ton of other things, liked doing other things. It's not for everyone. Doesn't mean he's not playing other things he could be good at. Hitting tennis balls and everything, so...

Q. Looks like you really know how to play the crowd. LeBron move back to the chair. Is that innate in you, or you think about it?
FRANCES TIAFOE: No, I'm not thinking if I win this point, I'm going to run to the bench. It just happens. It's just straight in the moment. Yeah, it's just a feeling I have, something that needs to be done.

I'm glad the crowd likes it because it's fun for me to do anyways.

Q. Crowd helped you today?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Definitely. I was getting pretty pissed at Robby and my boy Zach. I just needed that reason to give. Yeah, they were tremendous today.

Q. I know the team is pretty important to you. You have your parents here. I heard you say, Get behind me. What did that mean to you? You were looking at them a lot. What does that team mean to you in a match like that coming from behind?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah, I need them to get loud. I need them to keep telling me stuff. I rely on them. I'm looking at them a lot.

Yeah, you have fans. But people that are with you through tough times, good times, you really want to hear them in big situations. I think I needed that.

Q. You're not too far removed from being a junior player. When you get that big of a lead in the final set tiebreak, things run through your mind. What was running through your mind? How did you handle that?
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah, I mean, just try to take your time and get it done. It didn't happen. But no reason to panic. I'm serving great. I know I was going to have three points on my serve. I wasn't really stressing, even though it came to 6-5. I was like, All right, take your time here, finish it off.

Hit some good shots. I didn't make any serves from 6-1, 6-2. But, I mean, he hit some good serves and came up big, which I expected him to.

Q. What do you think of your friend Michael Mmoh's big week?
FRANCES TIAFOE: I'm extremely happy for him. Extremely happy for all the Americans. Fritz making fourth rounds. Donaldson making semifinals of Acapulco. Mmoh had a great week. I'm really happy with all the stuff we're doing. It's only going to help each other. I'm not going to sit here and tell you they're doing well, no, screw that, I got to win today, can't have them one up me.

I think it's good. It's great for all of the Americans to have each other. We're all great friends, really happy for each other. When Mmoh won yesterday, I screamed in the eating area. I'm just very happy for him.

Yeah, I mean, I hope we all keep going. I hope it's going to be six or seven guys in the top 10 one day.

Q. It looks like you've really beefed up your serve since last year. You served 15 aces today, twice the number of your opponent. Bombs up the tee on set points. This is really a weapon now compared to what it was last year.
FRANCES TIAFOE: Yeah, serve was terrible last year. Yeah, I'm serving good. Done a lot of work on it. Yeah, you know, did some tweaks on it in the off-season. I felt I was serving terrible in Australia. Before the New York 250, I tweaked it again. Feeling good since. I've been staying on it. Yeah, probably the best I ever served in my life.

Q. Today is a special day in the country, the March For the Living. They're going to do something for the Stoneman Douglas kids here tonight. Have you been paying attention, and your thoughts? A lot of these kids are pretty close to the same age you are.
FRANCES TIAFOE: I actually had no idea. Yeah, honestly, I don't really know what to say to that, to be honest. Yeah, sorry, I really don't know what to say to it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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