Tennis is a sport that often requires endurance and agility. The players must be able to run for long periods of time and make sudden movements to hit or return the ball. Tennis also has a mental component, as matches can last for hours and players must stay focused the entire time. In addition to all of these necessary skills, tennis players must have plenty of stamina and strength. One up-and-coming player who has mastered all of these traits is Frances Tiafoe. Here are 10 facts about him that you may not know.
1. Francis Tiafoe is an American professional tennis player. He is the youngest player in the top 100 of the ATP rankings, and has a career-high ranking of 49th in the world.
2. Tiafoe was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to immigrants from Sierra Leone. His father, Constant, is a janitor at a local middle school, while his mother, Alphina Kamara, works as a nurse’s aide.
3. Tiafoe began playing tennis at age five on the public courts at Prince George’s Community College. His father served as his coach until he was 11 years old.
4. In 2013, Tiafoe won the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship, becoming the first African American to do so.
5. Tiafoe made his Grand Slam debut at the 2017 French Open, where he qualified for the main draw.
6. In 2018, Tiafoe reached his first ATP final at the Delray Beach Open, losing to eventual champion Jack Sock.
7. Tiafoe has represented the United States in Davis Cup competition and was a member of the winning team that clinched the title in 2019.
8. Tiafoe is sponsored by Nike, and uses Wilson tennis equipment.
9. In 2020, Tiafoe was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Next, a list of rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, health, science and activism.
10. Tiafoe has said that his goal is to become the first African American man to win a Grand Slam singles title.