How Frances Tiafoe went from sleeping at a tennis center to the US Open semifinals
US Open 2017
The world’s most famous tennis player, Serena Williams, is ready to face Australia in Miami.
Frances Tiafoe’s goal was to join the 2017 US Open field when he came to Virginia Beach for the tournament’s second week.
Tiafoe, who turns 30 earlier this month, had been working in the tennis center for 11 months. There, he slept in his car for many weeks to save money and said he didn’t think he would ever get to the sport’s biggest stage.
Now he has a shot at his first career Grand Slam.
“I’ve been looking at the past few tournaments and I just think I’ve been looking around for something my whole life,” Tiafoe said.
A native of California, Tiafoe has had plenty of highs and lows. He’s had personal issues in the past that could have derailed a promising career. He’s had a string of injuries which has forced him to miss nearly 80 percent of the tennis season. He’s also battled with drug addiction and depression.
“I’ve had a string of different setbacks all in my life, so it was definitely hard,” Tiafoe said. “My life has sucked, but I don’t want to look at it like that.”
Tiafoe is the second-ranked player in the world and the highest-ranked American player since 2011 when American player Robby Ginepri made the final of Wimbledon. In that same time, five other Americans, including Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, John McEnroe and Chris Evert, reached the final of a major.
Tiafoe has also had some