Frances Tiafoe will return to the tennis courts on his native soil in Dallas, where he will play rising talent Alex Michelsen.
Both of them were in action Down Under, though Michelsen kind of left a better impression. The American proved he belonged among the best players on the ATP Tour with a really solid run that ended at the hands of Alexander Zverev.
When it comes to Tiaofe, he struggled on the courts in Melbourne. Sometimes he's amazing, other times his level is up and down, while most of the time he stays in the middle. Last year was a mix of everything, but fans are hoping that this year finally sees him take that monumental step forward.
Doing so on home soil in Dallas wouldn't be a bad idea but let's see how he'll do in this matchup which could be quite complicated.
Tiafoe and Michelsen have never played against each other, which isn't a huge surprise as the latter has never played on the ATP Tour before recently. Tiafoe certainly isn't a player who plays a packed schedule, either, so this being the first time they meet makes sense.
Now, the matchup is pretty interesting. Michelsen comes from the traditional school of American tennis, where the serve does most of the damage. His forehand can be quite good, but he's obviously kind of raw and needs a ton of refinement.
Tiafoe has seen this type of playstyle many times, so he should be well-equipped to counter that, though that doesn't mean it will be easy. This is exactly the type of matchup where he disappoints, but I'm going to predict him to be quite motivated.
He needs a good run to kick off this 2024 campaign properly, and why not do it on home soil? He's performed extremely well there in the past, so it makes sense he'll do it again.
Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win in three sets.