ATP Barcelona: Frances Tiafoe defeats Carlos Alcaraz in battle of young guns
Photo: Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

One of the more intriguing first-round matches took place at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell as Frances Tiafoe faced Carlos Alcaraz with the American coming out on top 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Pista Rafa Nadal.

The 65th-ranked Tiafoe forced the 17-year old Alcaraz into 18 unforced errors, 11 coming on the forehand side. The American also won eight of 11 points at net to reach the second round.

American outclasses Spaniard in preview of future rivalry

Tiafoe got off to a quick start, breaking Alcaraz in the third game of the match when the Spaniard netted a forehand to take a 2-1 lead. A second break extended the American's advantage to 4-1 and a hold put him a game away from the set.

Alcaraz responded by winning the next three games to close the gap to 5-4, but given a second chance to serve out the set, Tiafoe made no mistake, converting on his fourth set point when the Spaniard mishit another forehand.

World number 119 Alcaraz got off to a positive start in the second set as he broke Tiafoe in the second game and it looked like he would hold his advantage to force a third set until the American broke back in the seventh game.

The set would be decided in a tiebreaker, where seven of the nine points played would go to the returner. From 2-2, Tiafoe won five straight points and on match point at 6-2, he came to net, forcing Alcaraz into a backhand error.