Frances Tiafoe improved his chances of qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals for the second consecutive year on Wednesday at the European Open.
The 21-year-old American was forced to work hard to beat German qualifier Yannick Maden 7-6(7), 6-3 in one hour and 39 minutes to break a three-match losing streak. He will play another German, Jan-Lennard Struff, in the Antwerp second round.
Tiafoe, who has reached four ATP Tour semi-finals this season, recovered from 1-4 down in the first set and saved set points at 4-5, 15/40, then at 4/6 and 6/7 in the tie-break. Tiafoe closed out on his third set-point chance and won the first three games of the second set.
Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga begin their campaigns at the ATP 250 tournament later today.