The 24-year-old American, who has been in the spotlight since beating Rafael Nadal en route to a Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open last month, beat Spaniard Bernabé Zapata Miralles 6-1, 7-6 (9). /7) in the second round in Tokyo.
The American pulled through the first set before battling Miralles to take the second in a tiebreak that saw some of the best rallies in the 1 hour 32-minute showdown.
“A good match today, a tough second set,” said Tiafoe, who won his last 13 tiebreakers.
“Sometimes it comes in handy your way. I play firmly, serve well in the tiebreak, always a few aces.”
He will face Miomir Kikmanovic in the quarter-finals after the Serbian defeated Britain’s Dan Evans 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).
Having stunned Nadal at Flushing Meadows, Tiafoe starred in the Laver Cup in London as the Rest of the World team beat Europe for the first time in the competition’s history.
But the fourth-ranked player, currently ranked 19th in the world, said he was comfortable with all the attention he’s receiving
“I don’t really care what other people think I should do because I’ve had success recently.
“You know,” said he, “”Oh, will he be next…?” “.
“I’ve been on tour for seven or eight years now, and none of that really moves me. I want to win for myself, I’m not trying to achieve anyone else’s goals.”
Tiafoe said his solid run since the US Open has been “fantastic,” adding, “I’m confident, and I’m just enjoying life.”