ATP RANKING: 11
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 most recently 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 this year 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.
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 upset world No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the final at Vienna in 2021. He was also runner-up on in 2018 and 2022 at Estoril on clay. After losing to Grigor Dimitrov at Laver Cup 2018 in Chicago, Tiafoe beat the Bulgarian to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2019 Australian Open. The powerful right-hander is no slouch on grass either, making the fourth round at Wimbledon this year, and again showing his great fighting spirit in a punishing five-setter against David Goffin.
Semifinals: Atlanta, US Open
QF: Houston, Washington
R16: Miami, Wimbledon