The first round of the 2023 US Open will see Learner Tien taking on Frances Tiafoe on Monday afternoon. Tiafoe is currently ranked tenth in the world, while Tien is ranked 700th. The winner of this match will face Sebastian Ofner or Nuno Borges in the next round. Tiafoe had a solid grass swing which included a title win in Stuttgart and a third-round appearance at Wimbledon. However, he hasn’t been at his sparkling best since returning to the hard court last month. The American was beaten by Daniel Evans in round three in Washington. He was then sent home in the first round by wildcard Milos Raonic at the Canada Masters and lost in the second round to Stan Wawrinka in Cincinnati last week. Despite that underwhelming run of results in recent times, Tiafoe still has a very good hard court record this year. He won the United Cup at the start of the season and is 17-7 on the surface and 33-14 for the year.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Learner Tien will be facing his highest-ranked opponent ever in this match. The teenager has competed on the ITF circuit this year and has done quite well at the lower level. He comes into this competition following his first title win on tour at the M15 Irvine tournament back in June. With that, his record now stands at 13-6 for the year, and he has played exclusively on the hard surface. Tien tried his hand at the Indian Wells and Miami Masters but failed to get past the first qualifier. At last year's US Open, Tien beat Miomir Kecmanovic in the first set of the opening round but lost the following three and was forced to exit the tournament. This will be an excellent experience for the teenager, though his chances of progressing are very slim. Bookmakers make him the second biggest underdog in the first round of the competition.
While Tiafoe’s hard court form has not been the best in the build-up to the competition, he should be too strong for the teenager in this one. This will be an excellent learning experience for Tien, but we can’t see him managing to pull off an upset result. Our Learner Tien vs Frances Tiafoe prediction: Tiafoe to win in straight sets.