Since competing for Team World at the inaugural Laver Cup 2017 in Prague, Frances Tiafoe has proved himself on the world stage, with victories over many top-ranked players and a sensational run to the 2022 US Open semifinals. He defeated Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, the only man to have upset the Spanish great at a Grand Slam, and backed up the victory with a three-set win over ninth seeded Andrey Rublev. Tiafoe became the first American man to reach the US semis since Andy Roddick in 2006 and was edged out in a five-set marathon to eventual champion, Carlos Alcaraz. Tiafoe hit a career-high No.11 in January, 2023, and returns to Team Europe for a fourth time, having won the deciding championship match for Team World in London against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The son of Frances Snr and Alphina, who are immigrants from Sierra Leone, Frances developed his game at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland. His father had helped build the facility and later became its Head of Maintenance. As children, he and twin brother Franklin would spend entire days with his father at the center and Frances took to the court at every opportunity. Development was quick for young Frances, who won the prestigious Orange Bowl at age 15 and earned a wildcard to compete in the 2015 French Open. In 2020 he received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.
Growing up with the likes of Federer and Juan Martin del Potro as his idols, Tiafoe now competes alongside the game’s leading players with a sense of belonging. He won his first ATP Tour singles title at Delray Beach in 2018 and his second at Houston in April. He was also runner-up last year at Estoril and Tokyo, alongside a breakthrough performance at the US Open, where he pushed Carlos Alcaraz to five sets in the semifinals. Looking to win his first point for Team World at Laver Cup, he edged out world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas to seal the title for John McEnroe’s side for the first time and moved closer towards a spot in the top 10 after winning all five singles matches at the inaugural United Cup in Australia for Team USA.
Won: Houston, United Cup (Team USA)
Semifinals: Indian Wells
QF: Acapulco, Dallas