After winning his third title in a row on Sunday in Stuttgart, Frances Tiafoe became just the third Black American to make it into the top 10 in the men’s competition.
The achievement of the 25-year-old matches that of Arthur Ashe and James Blake.
Tiafoe admitted to being “super emotional” following his thrilling victory over German Jan-Lennard Struff, which he won by a score of 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6.
Tiafoe stated, “I’m a guy who shouldn’t even really be here doing half the things he’s doing.”
And now, when you say his name, you can say that he is among the world’s top ten. I will always remember that as something that no one can take away from you.
I hope to be able to ride that for a long time.
Tiafoe has been hailed as the American men’s tennis future star, and he is beginning to live up to those expectations.
But it hasn’t been easy for him to get to the top of elite tennis.
After leaving Sierra Leone, his parents met in the United States and had twins named Franklin and Frances.
Constant Tiafoe, his father, started working at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in Washington, D.C., where he was born, in 1999. He eventually moved into one of the storage rooms there that were empty while he worked continuously.
While their mother worked night shifts as a nurse, he would occasionally have his two sons stay with him and sleep on a massage table.
Tiafoe took advantage of the unusual entry point into the sport to begin honing his skills, and he never stopped training at the facility.
He became a professional wrestler in 2015, entered the world’s top 100 a year later, and began establishing himself on the biggest stage.
Before a magical run to the US Open semifinals in 2022, Tiafoe’s best grand slam performance to date, he reached his first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open in 2019.
Tiafoe had to work hard for his historic victory on Sunday because he needed a thrilling tie-breaker in the final set to defeat home favorite Struff.
The American celebrated in style after crossing the line and then fell to the ground in disbelief.
He was then given a champagne bottle, which he opened and sprayed on the people around him.
During his interview on the court, he jokingly stated, “I just want to start drinking.”
Taylor Fritz, a fellow American, joins Tiafoe in the most recent top 10 rankings. This marks the first time since Mardy Fish and John Isner in 2012 that two American players have appeared in the men’s Top 10.