Frances Tiafoe started to get serious about tennis in recent years and it's proved a wise decision as his talent is on full display right now.
The American is a semi-finalist in the 2023 Indian Wells his first ATP 1000 semi-final. It comes after he made the US Open semifinal last year in a sudden rise that was years in the making. Tiafoe always had the potential for a big result but never focused enough to get it. It changed recently as he matured and prioritised his career more than anything else.
I'm a guy came from very humble beginnings. I came on the scene, I was 18 years old, 19 years old, in top 100. Guys thinking I'm gonna be the guy to do it, X, Y, and Z, American hope, blah, blah, blah. It was tough. I don't think I was really ready for it.
Besides not being ready for the mantle of the next big thing in US tennis, Tiafoe also prioritised some things over tennis. He was focused on enjoying his life, which is fair, but now he's focusing more on the tennis side, and it is paying dividends. He's playing solid tennis and getting better with every tournament.
You know, I was, you know, a young guy having money, I was enjoying my life, you know, outside activities and stuff like that. Now I just honed it in.
Getting to the semi-finals feels great for Tiafoe but he wants to win, a lot. It's a mix of emotions for him any time he makes a big result because he truly did come from humble beginnings. He's grateful and humbled by the opportunity every time he's on the court.
Being in semis is great. I'm very happy to be here. It's just semifinals. There's more to do. It only gets tougher. Beating quality guys only gets tougher. Take it for what is. I'm happy for every milestone, humbled, and very, you know, very thankful for the opportunity, but gotta keep the head down and keep going.