After dropping out of the Top 50 in 2019, Frances Tiafoe is on the brink of breaking back in after a tough openinng-round win over three-time major champion Andy Murray at the Winston-Salem Open. The American saved three set points and eventually took control, posting a 7-6 (4), 6-3 score. The two competitors faced off around this time last season at the Western & Southern Open (when it was moved from Cincinnati to Flushing Meadows), with Murray capturing that edition.

Tiafoe may have tied up their head-to-head record at 1-1, but Tiafoe is more excited to just see the major champion display his love for the sport through competing. The world No. 51 took to Instagram to express his respect for the former No. 1.

"Love this dude man. Your a great person first athlete second. The drive and determination you show is just remarkable. Even till this day.

"You show us everyday what loving what you do looks like. Keep playing this game for you not anybody else. You have nothing to prove to out here. Do you bro. Keep making yourself proud. I got nothing but respect for you slim," Tiafoe wrote.


The ATP Tour, along with Mackenzie McDonald, took to the comment section to show some love as well.

Tiafoe is through to the third round at the ATP 250 and will take on Brazil's Thiago Monteiro for the first time on Wednesday. A deep run could see him enter the Top 50 again just before the final major of the season.