One of the top stories through the first week at the 2019 Australian Open, rising American star Frances Tiafoe looks to continue his magic at Melbourne Park when he takes on No. 20 seed Grigor Dimitrov for a spot in the quarterfinals.
For those in the United States looking to watch, the match is scheduled to start Saturday at about 9 p.m. ET (after Christian/Muhammad vs. Klepac/Sanchez). It won’t be on TV, but you can watch the entire match live on your computer, phone or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN (no cable subscription necessary) that will have coverage of all non-televised 2019 Australian Open matches.
You can sign up for a free seven-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Tiafoe vs Dimitrov on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One or other compatible streaming device via the ESPN app.
Tiafoe vs Dimitrov Preview
The rise of young American talent has been a theme of the first week of the Australian Open. Seventeen-year-old sensation Amanda Anisimova has taken the women’s draw by storm with a scintillating run to the fourth round, and Tiafoe is in the midst of a similar run over on the men’s side.
Of course, while Anisimova’s run has been a dominant one (she’s yet to drop a set through three wins), Tiafoe has put a little more drama into his matches. His first-round win over Prajnesh Gunneswaran was mostly no nonsense, but then he came back from a set and a break down to upset No. 5 Kevin Anderson, and in the third round he again made a late comeback to win a five-set thriller against Andreas Seppi.
His quickly rising popularity has been propelled not only by the fact that he’s winning, but also the entertainment he’s providing. His mix of creativity and power during matches, along with his LeBron James post-win celebrations have earned him a lot of fans this week at Melbourne Park.
“Guys are loving it,” Tiafoe said of the celebrations. “It’ll be interesting to see if guys want to try them. Just trying to bring something in tennis. I’m a big basketball fan. Love the team celebrations. If I get a chance to do it on a big court, big situation, you got to bring it up. It’s not pre-med. I don’t know what celebration I’m going to do. I got a lot of them.”
Dimitrov, meanwhile, is making his third consecutive fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open after reaching the semis in 2017 and the quarters last year. Though he struggled in his warm-ups over the last couple of weeks, losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roger Federer, Cameron Norrie and John Millman, he has played much better in Melbourne, dropping just two sets in his wins over Janko Tipsarevic, Pablo Cuevas and Thomas Fabbiano,
These two met in the Round of 16 at last year’s Canadian Master, with Dimitrov picking up the win. It was close, though, as it went the full three sets and the Bulgarian needed a tiebreaker to win both of his sets, so we should be in line for a thriller at Melbourne Arena.
“Everybody loves him,” Dimitrov said of Tiafoe. “I think that already adds up. For sure, he’s been playing really well, especially beginning of the year, been having good results. Already a few very good wins out here in Melbourne. So, yeah, absolutely, he’s going to be dangerous to play. He’s going to be excited. It’s new ground for him. So, yeah, I don’t expect it to be an easy match at all.”
The winner will take on either No. 2 Rafael Nadal or Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
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