Frances Tiafoe, 24, on Wednesday became the first American male to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since John Isner at Wimbledon in 2018, and the first American in Queens since 2006.
Tiafoe next plays tomorrow, September 9. If he wins his semifinal match against Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, he will be the first American to play a Grand Slam final since Wimbledon in 2009.
He is the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone and picked up the sport because his father worked in maintenance at the Junior Tennis Championship Center in College Park, Maryland.
In an interview with CCN, they reported Tiafoe’s father, Constant Tiafoe, started working at the Center in 1999. He eventually moved into one of its vacant storage rooms while working around the clock.
His twin boys (Franklin and Frances) would sometimes stay with him, sleeping on a massage table, while their mother worked night shifts as a nurse.
PALISADES GIRLS SEASON UNDERWAY:
Palisades High School Tennis Coach Bud Kling girls’ team is starting strong.
PaliHi upset Marlborough 4-3 in the Dolphins Home Opener on August 30. Five days earlier the Dolphins had defeated West Ranch 15-3.
Kling reported on September 7, that his team had defeated Marymount 17-1. “We have a solid new 9th grade group,” he said, and added we have “seven returning starters.”
Senior Jade Finestone is the number one singles player and with help from fellow senior Anaya Ayanbadejo and juniors Sofie Szeder and Yulia Klokova the team hopes to repeat as City Champions this year. Freshman Anais Israels and Nicole Nguyen are also vying for a singles spot.
Last year the Dolphins won their 28th City Title in October by defeating Granada Hills 5-2. They have won eight of the last nine City Section upper division crowns.
Kling, who was named California Boys Tennis Coach of the year in 2018-2019, was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on June 26.
The Palisades resident, who leads all coaches in the City Section with 50 team titles (including boys and girls teams), was inducted into the Los Angeles City Section Hall of Fame in 2017.