Frances Tiafoe is an American professional tennis player and a former US Open semi-finalist with a career-high ranking of 17.
Name: Frances Tiafoe
Born: January 20, 1998
Turned Pro: 2015
Further Statistics: Click here
Born on the 20th of January, 1998 in Hyattsville, Maryland, U.S.A, Tiafoe and his twin brother Franklin’s parents were from Sierra Leone. Tiafoe began playing tennis aged just 4 when he lived at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland.
In 2014, Tiafoe would reach the semi-finals of the boys’ singles at the US Open, the best Grand Slam run of his junior career. After defeating the number one seed Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final, Tiafoe would fall in three sets to Frenchman Quentin Halys in the semi-final.
Tiafoe would claim the first title of his career at the 2015 ITF Futures tournament in Bakersfield, turning professional the following month.
Granted a wildcard entry at the 2015 French Open, Tiafoe would make his senior Grand Slam debut at the of 17, losing in the opening round in straight sets to Martin Kližan. Similarly, Tiafoe would lose in the first round of his US Open debut later that same year against 22nd seed, Viktor Troicki.
At the 2017 US Open, Tiafoe would announce himself to the world by pushing the great Roger Federer all the way in a thrilling five-set encounter at the Arthur Ashe Stadium before eventually succumbing 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
Tiafoe would claim his first ATP Tour title at the 2018 Delray Beach Open defeating Peter Gojowczyk in the final.
Building on this success, Tiafoe would reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships. Defeating Fernando Verdasco and Julien Benneteau before losing to Karen Khachanov in five sets.
At the 2019 Australian Open, Tiafoe would go even further, making it to the quarter-final thanks to wins over Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Kevin Anderson, Andreas Seppi and Grigor Dimitrov. However, Rafa Nadal in the last eight would prove to be a bridge too far for the American.
In 2022, Tiafoe would reach his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open. Straight-set wins over Marcos Giron, Jason Kubler and Diego Schwartzman would lead Tiafoe to a fourth-round encounter against Nadal. A four-set win over the Spaniard would give Tiafoe his biggest career win and set up a quarter-final clash with Andrey Rublev, one he would win in straight sets. Sadly for Tiafoe and the home crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, it would be a five-set defeat for the American against eventual winner Carlos Alcaraz.
One of the few African-Americans on the ATP Tour, Tiafoe is seen by many as a role model for future generations, something he is very proud of. “That's one of my biggest motivations – to get more black people playing tennis. But I'm just trying to inspire everyone, doesn't matter what race, especially younger people."
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