Frances Tiafoe fails to convert five set points, loses to Karen Khachanov


Most people – including Karen Khachanov at the other end of the court – thought the match was going to a fifth set after Frances Tiafoe led 6-1 in a tiebreaker.

But what followed was utterly crazy, as the American failed to convert all five of his set points, before eventually losing both the set and the match, sending Khachanov through to the last 16.

After Khachanov got it back to 6-6, he then had a match point – albeit on the American’s serve – and didn’t get it done, before finally closing it out at 11-9.

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Afterwards, Khachanov said he was already thinking about the next set.

“To be honest, I don’t know, nothing,” he said when asked what was going through his head at 1-6 down.

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“I was preparing for the fifth set.” 

Refreshing honesty – and it was a bizarre way for the match to end, and one that doesn’t happen very often at all.

“I don’t know what to say. Crazy situations like this in tennis, you live them, quite a few and I’m really happy that I could finish in four.

“It was a really high level match from both of us, but Frances, I know it’s his birthday, I’m sorry, what can I do?

“Hopefully I can keep going.”

The Russian, who ended Nick Kyrgios’ US Open in the quarter finals last year, is now into the second week at Melbourne for the first time and will play Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka next.

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