How Frances Tiafoe went from sleeping at a tennis center to the US Open semifinals
The 18-year-old took her game to the next level
Courtesy of the USTA
Published: Tuesday, June 8, 2013 at 6:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 8, 2013 at 5:08 a.m.
This summer, Frances Tiafoe and her family have spent much of it in the backyard at the tennis center home where she grew up: The Fischhacker Tennis Center in Greenbelt, Md. For the past month, though, she has been living in New York City.
The 18-year-old took her game to the next level on Tuesday when she went through the longest match of her career — a 6-3, 6-2 win over Caroline Wozniacki that moved her one victory away from the US Open championship.
It was a dream come true for the rising star, who was born in Philadelphia but has now made the move to the Big Apple, with her parents, brother and five sisters living in the building that used to be home to the Fischhacker tennis club.
“Being in the Big Apple — it’s so much bigger,” Tiafoe said in a phone call Tuesday. “I was in Philly for one year and then I moved to Maryland and my whole family lives there. It’s pretty cool. I still get up in the morning and go to sleep at night. I wake up at 5:30 and go to school and then play tournaments and then come home and then get my sister’s (Brinkei) stuff and everything ready to go to sleep. I’m so used to being in Philly.”
Tiafoe, who was competing at No. 1 singles for the first time in nearly five years, said she is getting a “great welcome” in the city, which she hopes will lead to a longer stint in the tournament circuit.
“I haven’t had a long enough break to really be in the tournament mode with tennis,” she said. “I’m excited to be here, and I’m excited to be a part of this community.”