MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Frances Tiafoe rolled up his sleeve, flexed and slapped his biceps muscle five times to celebrate the biggest victory of his career, a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 comeback against two-time Grand Slam finalist and No. 5 seed Kevin Anderson in the Australian Open's second round.
The 20-year-old Tiafoe trailed by a set and 3-0 in the second Wednesday before turning the match around as Anderson's big serve slowed down because of problems with his right arm. Anderson was repeatedly visited by a trainer during changeovers, and he lost about 5 mph on his first serves as the match wore on.
Anderson was the runner-up at Wimbledon last year and at the U.S. Open in 2017 and had won all three previous matchups against the 39th-ranked Tiafoe.
Now Tiafoe is into the third round at a major for the second time, equaling his best showing.
Defending champion and third-seeded Roger Federer advanced to the third round for the 20th consecutive time by beating Daniel Evans 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3. Also advancing on the men's side were 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, No. 14-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili.
In the women's draw, No. 5 seed Sloane Stephens advanced at the expense of former doubles partner Timea Babos 6-3, 6-1 in a second-round match the women's tour billed as a battle of the so-called "frenemies."
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova eliminated ninth-seeded Kiki Bertens 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round of a major for the first time since her quarterfinal run here in 2017, and Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat 20th-seeded Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-3. No. 19-seeded Caroline Garcia advanced 6-3, 6-3 over Zoe Hives.