Frances Tiafoe is an American tennis player who has been the subject of much interest in the media ever since he first started playing on the junior circuit.
Having risen through the ranks rapidly as a teenager, Tiafoe achieved widespread fame due to his tennis-centric upbringing and abundant natural talent. As a pro he hasn't tasted Grand Slam success yet, but has given enough signs that great things may be in store for him in the future.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 2nd Round (2017)
French Open: 1st Round (2015, 2017, 2018)
Wimbledon: 3rd Round (2018)
US Open: 2nd Round (2018)
Highest Ranking: No. 38
Style of play
Tiafoe is an aggressive player who likes to use the 1-2 punch of big serve and big forehand to outmuscle his opponents.
He can generate tremendous topspin with his unorthodox forehand, and can use that shot for both offense and defense. He has a two-handed backhand which he hits flatter and consistently into the corners.
Tiafoe doesn't play in the forecourt a lot, and is not entirely comfortable with his net game.
Strengths and weaknesses
Tiafoe has incredible foot speed and can track down even the hardest shots. He can also use his movement to take charge of points, as he steps into the court and hits the ball on the rise.
Tiafoe's forehand is highly unusual but also highly effective. He imparts a lot of revolutions on it, which makes it shoot viciously away from the opponent upon bouncing.
The American has an excellent first serve, which he often uses to earn free points. His second serve is not as impactful as his first, but he has worked hard on improving its consistency.
Tiafoe is also an expert at returning serve, and he once made John Isner say that nobody except for Novak Djokovic had ever returned his serve as well as Tiafoe.
Tiafoe's backhand is not his strongest suit, and he often uses it merely as a rally shot. His shot selection, meanwhile, can sometimes leave a lot to be desired; the American hits a few too many unforced errors at crucial points, which could be attributed as one of the reasons why he loses a lot of close matches.
Tiafoe was born in Hyattsville, Maryland, and has a twin brother named Franklin. His parents Frances Sr. and Alphina are both immigrants from Sierra Leone.
Frances Sr. worked on the construction of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, which is where his sons first got acquainted with the sport. Both of them started playing at the age of three, and when Frances Sr. was hired as the Head of Maintenance at the facility, he arranged for them to take up training right there.
Frances Jr. showed very quick development from an early age, and when he turned 15 he became the youngest ever Orange Bowl champion. He also reached the World No. 2 ranking on the ITF junior circuit, although he never won a junior Grand Slam.
Tiafoe's role model while growing up was Juan Martin del Potro, and he had the privilege of defeating his idol on his way to his first ever ATP title win - at the 2018 Delray Beach event.
Social media presence:
Frances Tiafoe Instagram: @bigfoe1998
Frances Tiafoe Twitter: @FTiafoe