Francis Tiafoe loses in 3rd round of Wimbledon juniors

16-year-old from Riverdale Park falls in doubles, too

July 04, 2014|Sports Digest

Tennis

Francis Tiafoe loses in 3rd round of Wimbledon juniors

After an error brought him within two points of conceding the opening set of his third-round match at Wimbledon's Junior Championships, Francis Tiafoe bashed his racket on the grass court and drew a warning from the chair umpire. He lost the set in a tiebreak. Then, after leveling the match at one set apiece only to fall behind in the third set, Tiafoe blasted a ball out of the court upon committing another gaffe. For that, he was docked a point that handed fellow American Noah Rubin triple match point. From there, the 18-year-old Rubin rolled to a 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-3 victory that landed him in today's quarterfinals. Tiafoe, 16, will head back to Riverdale Park without a trophy of any sort, bounced from the junior doubles event later in the day when he and fellow American Michael Mmoh were ousted by an unseeded Brazilian duo, 6-1, 7-6 (16-14). The 6-foot-1 Tiafoe flashed his considerable upside in the three singles matches he contested in his Wimbledon junior debut this week and in the two he played in last month's French Open junior event, where he was the No. 1 seed. He boasts a pro-caliber forehand and a potent, if occasionally erratic, first serve. But he was stopped short in both tournaments by bouts of inconsistency and immaturity, which took the form of negative body language on which opponents feast and emotional outbursts at critical junctures. Frank Salazar, coach of the top juniors at College Park's Junior Tennis Champions Center, where Tiafoe has trained since childhood, said he planned to discuss both with the junior, who has slipped from No. 2 in the world among boys 18-and-under to No. 8 in the past five weeks. "Part of maturity and part of being a champions and honoring the game and respecting the game is being able to control your emotions," Salazar said. "You're not going to see Federer or Nadal or any of those guys knock a ball out of Center Court." Salazar added that he had no doubt Tiafoe has the tools to contend for Wimbledon's junior title next year. But between now and then, he added, the youngster needs to focus on fundamentals. Chief among them: concentrating, making shots he ought to make, moving his feet, landing first serve and keeping his body language positive. Patrick McEnroe, general manager of pro player development for the U.S. Tennis Association, offered a similar analysis after watching the match. "Certainly he needs the maturity, and it's going to come," McEnroe said. "He's only 16."

Liz Clarke, The Washington Post

Colleges

Pa. wideout Moore commits to Maryland

Four-star wide receiver D.J. Moore, a rising senior at Imhotep High School in Philadelphia, announced his commitment to Maryland via Twitter on Wednesday night. "I'm Blessed To Say That Today I Have Committed To Being A Maryland Terp," Moore wrote. Rivals.com ranks the 6-foot, 200-pound Moore as Pennsylvania's No. 7 prospect in the class of 2015 and the nation's 33rd-best wide receiver. According to Rivals, he received offers from 14 schools, including Boston College, Duke, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and local school Temple. "He was kind of going back and forth, going to see some schools this summer. I think the last time he went down [to Maryland] was pretty much the clincher," Imhotep coach Albie Crosby said. "He got a great vibe from the school. He really enjoyed the campus, really enjoyed the coaching staff."

Aaron Dodson

Football: The Naval Academy announced Thursday that it has sold out its ticket allotment for December's Army-Navy Game, which will take place at M&T Bank Stadium.

Men's lacrosse: Loyola Maryland assistant coach David Metzbower will join the North Carolina staff as offensive coordinator, sources said. Fellow Loyola High alumnus Joe Breschi, a Baltimore native, is the current Carolina head coach. Metzbower spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons at Loyola, where he took over for Dan Chemotti after the Greyhounds' 2012 national championship.

Inside Lacrosse

Baseball: Maryland second baseman Brandon Lowe and right-handed pitcher Mike Shawaryn have been named to the Baseball America Freshman All-America team. Lowe earned first-team honors, while Shawaryn received a spot on the second team.

Et cetera

McDonogh's Kelly invited to U.S. national team camp

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