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Tiafoe wins first grasscourt title in Stuttgart

American tennis star Francis Tiafoe captured his third ATP title Sunday with a tough three-set win against German Jan Lennard Struff at the Stuttgart Open The 25-year-old U.S. Open semi-finalist survived a championship point in the third-set tiebreak to seal 4-6 7-6(1) 7-6(8) win over German Jan-Lennard Struff for his first grasscourt crown. He is now only the third African-American man to reach the top 10 in the world rankings, joining Arthur Ashe and James Blake after he captured the third title of his career in Stuttgart on Sunday.

The German hit 28 aces, but a five-point run at the start of the second-set tiebreak helped spur the American into a decider. “It was an incredible match,” Tiafoe said after the match. “I didn’t break him for two hours, Struff was serving well today. On that match point, I don’t know how I got the ball over the net, but I’ll take it.” Tiafoe couldn’t control his excitement as he fell onto the grass court in ecstasy after his hard-earned 4–6, 7–6 (1), 7–6 (8) victory over Struff. The new ATP world number 10 had no qualms with his celebrations, raising his hands with all 10 fingers to mark the career highlight, before popping open a bottle of champagne.

The victory will push Tiafoe up to the No. 10 world ranking Monday, which will mark the first time that the 25-year-old has cracked the top 10. He will join American compatriot Taylor Fritz, who is currently ranked No. 8 in the world, making them the first American male duo to rank in the ATP top 10 since 2012, when Mardy Fish and John Isner were ranked number 9 and number 10 respectively. The American duo are scheduled to compete at the Queens Club Championships next, starting on 3rd July.

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