Frances Tiafoe had never experienced the empty feeling he had inside following a disappointing and early Wimbledon exit.
The tenth-seeded American star got completely dominated by former Wimbledon semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in a third-round match that spilled into Sunday after inclement weather suspended it Saturday.
“I played god awful. So it just hurts, man,” Tiafoe said after the match via ESPN. “I really don’t know what to say. I don’t know how I’m going to digest it. … I just, I’ve never really felt like this after a loss. It’s like I’m shocked how usually I rise to occasions and I’m shocked how I performed today. It’s just crazy to me, honestly.”
Tiafoe, 25, came after winning this first grass title at the Stuttgart Open last month, but that didn’t seem to translate to Wimbledon.
He had defeated Dimitrov in the last meeting four years ago in what he described as an “absolute war” at the Australian Open.
But the Bulgarian, who was a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2014, dominated the service game hitting 13 aces and winning 92 percent of his first serve points to grab a two-set lead heading into Sunday.
“He’s such a dangerous player and I knew I had to be very focused. He’s the type of player that has a great serve, great return,” Dimitrov said of Tiafoe. “So I was just looking after my game.”
Even with the break in the match, things never turned for Tiafoe.
“Yeah, I’m, top 10 in the world, [but] I played like I didn’t have an ATP point,” Tiafoe said.
He dropped a break early and frustration followed as he would smash his racket and launch balls into the air as he was unable to keep his cool.
Dimitrov advances to face Holger Rune in the fourth round, which will take place on Monday morning.
“The past weeks have been, in a way, very amazing weeks for me out here in England. I’m just enjoying every single day. … It’s amazing to be also in the second week. I love playing on Sunday.”