14 Things you Didn’t Know about Frances Tiafoe

Lovers of tennis have found a new golden boy in Frances Tiafoe. This young American tennis player has taken the sport by storm in the last several years. Not only has this newcomer captured our imagination with his dynamic style of playing, but it also seems fans cannot get enough of his distinctive appearance and personality. Despite his time in the professional spot light, there still may be a lot you don’t know about this tennis dynamo. Let’s dive in and discover a few things you didn’t know about Frances Tiafoe.

1. A Typo That Stuck

Most people find it offensive if a typo shows up in their name, especially if their name is going to be plastered all over magazines and advertising. Well, when this happened to Tiafoe in the early days of this career, he just rolled with it. His birth name is Frances Tiafoe, but an early entry form for a competition typed his name mistakenly as Francis. Not a big deal to Tiafoe. He allowed the typo to go unchecked for years. In fact, his name is spelled incorrectly in several articles and interviews. In 2015, his agent finally corrected the mistake.

2. Right On Track for Young Stardom

Tiafoe has accomplished a lot in his career already, and at only 24 years old he can look forward to several more years of global fame and success before he decides to retire. You might wonder how he has already accomplished so much at such a young age. Well, the athlete had his debut at the tender age of 16.

3. The Boy Next Door

Tiafoe is a bonified boy next door. Hailing from the small town of Hyattsville Maryland, he claims American as his nationality. His parents, however, are immigrants. They moved to the US from Sierra Leone.

4. Born Into The Sport..Sort Of

Many professional athletes can trace their sports heritage back to coaching parents or professional athlete siblings. Tiafoe was definitely born into the world of tennis, but not in the way you might think. Tiafoe’s father worked on the building crew of the Junior Tennis Champions Center located in College Park, Maryland. His immigrant father worked tirelessly in this profession and was ultimately promoted to head of maintenance for the facility. Tiafoe’s close proximity to the center played a huge part in his interest and training in tennis during his early years.

5. Double Shots

The tennis genes obviously run in the family. Frances is not the only tennis talent in the Tiafoe family. His twin brother Franklin is also a professional American tennis player as well. The twins started playing at age four. Although in the early days it was just about the fun, the brothers got serious when they found out that tennis could be their ticket to college scholarships in high school.

6. A Young Record Setter

Tiafoe holds the distinct honor of being the youngest American to ever win an ATP title. He snagged this honor at the 2018 Delray Beach Open.

7. A Young Coach and a Young Champion

Tiafoe holds records for attaining tennis accomplishments at a young age. But did you know that his coach is only six years older than him? In the world of tennis, many players choose coaches who have already retired out of professional tennis themselves. Usually this means that coaches are far older. This is not the case with Tiafoe and his coach Zack Evenden.

8. Friends First

Before they began working together professionally, Tiafoe and Evenden were just tennis buddies who loved the game. Their chemistry was a great combination and the two have used it to create an amazing career.

9. Love On and Off the Court

Spending so much time in the world of tennis it is no surprise that Tiafoe has found love there as well. Fellow tennis player Ayan Broomsfield and Tiafoe have been dating for some time. Broomsfield hails from Toronto Canada.

10. Socially Connected

Like most young athletes, Tiafoe stays relevant and connected with fans through social media platforms. You can find Frances on Facebook and Instagram. Here he shares pictures and updates on matches and future appearances.

11. A Big Success

Measuring in at 6ft and 2 inches Tiafoe is a big guy both in regards to his talent and his height.

12. Important Awards

The tennis court is not the only arena in which Tiafoe is a winner. In 2020 he was awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award.

13. No Wasted Time

When the Covid 19 pandemic hit, athletes like Tiafoe were sidelined at home. Events were canceled, and for many it looked like careers would simply be put on hold. Tiafoe, however, decided to use this time wisely. He used the almost six month break during the pandemic to focus time and attention on investing in the next generation of tennis players.

He dedicated time to participating in webinars held for Excellence Program participants. These webinars were intended to keep participants connected and supported during the difficult months of the pandemic.

He also used the time to talk with young people about social justice issues that can affect the sporting community.

In addition to these endeavors, Tiafoe also used his own personal social media platforms to share important messages in the wake of the George Floyd killing. His video, Racquets Down, Hands Up” created a powerful message from the tennis community concerning social justice and changes that need to be seen in our nation.

Because of these and other humanitarian efforts, Tiafoe was awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.

14. A Cinderella Story

Tiafoe has been quoted referring to his success as a “Cinderella story.” A janitor’s son turned world class athlete was not gifted with a magic wand or a fairy god mother. Tiafoe has been the creator of his own magic through hard work and dedication to his sport. He is particularly positioned right now to become the first American to become a champion at a Slam since Roddick achieved it in New York 19 years ago. But more importantly, he is setting a powerful example for young black tennis players around the world, who long to see a black male champion.

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