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Frances Tiafoe is an American professional tennis player who has competed on the ATP Tour since 2015.
|Date of Birth:
|20 January 1998
|Hyattsville, Maryland, U.S.
|Orlando, Florida, U.S.
|Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Frances Tiafoe was born on January 20, 1998, in Hyattsville, Maryland, USA. His father, Constant Tiafoe (commonly known as Frances Sr.), and mother, Alphina Kamara, were immigrants from Sierra Leone who fled the war-torn West African nation in the early 90s to settle in America.
They met at College Park, Maryland, and eventually had twin boys (Francis and Franklin Tiafoe). Frances Tiafoe’s twin brother pursued tennis briefly as a junior before he ventured into coaching. Tiafoe was introduced to tennis at the age of five by his father who used to work as Head of Maintenance at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park (JTCC), Maryland.
His father converted a small spare office at the facility into a home for his children, who would spend five nights of the week at the centre, sleeping on folding tables and working on his dream at the premises in the mornings. Tiafoe’s first official coach was Misha Kuznetsov, who helped to sponsor an eight-year-old Tiafoe to play at tournaments after being impressed by his work ethic and pure love for the sport.
Tiafoe won numerous titles on the ITF junior tour and achieved a personal-best ranking of No. 2. His success at that level, coupled with his tough upbringing, earned him national recognition before he turned professional. Tiafoe turned pro in 2015.
That same year, he won his first ATP main draw match at the Winston-Salem Open, beating James Duckworth in the first round in a third-set tiebreaker. He made his Grand Slam main draw debut on the senior level at the US Open as a wild card shortly after winning the USTA Junior National Championship at the age of 17.
He lost to Viktor Troicki in the first round. Tiafoe won the first of his six ATP Challenger titles in 2016 in Granby, Canada. When he added a second title in Stockton in October that same season, he broke the ATP’s Top 100 for the first time.
Tiafoe’s first ATP title came at the 2018 Delray Beach Open, where he entered the event as a wild card and went on to defeat Peter Gojowczyk in the final. That same year, he would enter the world’s Top 50. Tiafoe advanced into his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2019 Australian Open and attained a Top 30 ATP ranking for his efforts.
He earned his first Top 5 win of his career at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round. Later that year, he made his first final at ATP 500 level at the Vienna Open, losing to Alexander Zverev in the championship match.
Tiafoe’s biggest accomplishment in a major tournament came at the 2022 US Open, where he defeated 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, the second seed at the event, en route to the semifinal. Tiafoe was part of the USA team that won the inaugural United Cup in 2023 and Team World, who won back-to-back Laver Cups in 2022 and 2023, respectively.