Frances Tiafoe is a Florida-based American tennis player who shot to prominence in his impressive first round defeat at the hands of Roger Federer at the 2017 US Open.
Tiafoe’s parents migrated from Sierra Leone to USA and at a very young age of four, he started training at the Junior Tennis Champions Centre in Maryland.
He went on to win the Orange Bowl tennis competition in 2013, breaking the record to become the youngest ever player to win the championship before taking home the 2014 Easter Bowl title.
That very year, Tiafoe’s rise was spectacular as he went on to play at the junior’s French Open as the top seeded player, and while he was knocked out in the second round at Roland-Garros and third round at Wimbledon later, he went on to feature in the main draw of the French Open in 2015.
That made him the youngest ever since Michael Chang in 1989 to do so and that was also the year in which he turned pro.
Later a victory at the Under-18 National Championship in the USA earned him a wild-card for that year’s US Open. He was ousted in the opening round of that tournament, as had been the case earlier at the French Open.
Tiafoe’s first ever win at a Grand Slam tournament came in 2017 when he made the second round and followed it up with another second round entry at that year’s Wimbledon.
However, it was in his loss to Federer that the tennis world seems to have taken notice. Frances Tiafoe managed to push Federer to the fifth set which he then lost 6-4.
After losing the match, Tiafoe revealed what Federer said of him:
“Great year so far. You’re only getting better and better. Keep going, you’re going to have one hell of a future.”
With a current world ranking of 70, it remains to be seen how high can this talented youngster go.