The next generation of tennis stars are quickly making their way to the top of the sport and our young Canadian players are no exception. Although we know that you will be cheering for Denis Shapovalov and other young Canadian players at Rogers Cup in Montreal, we encourage you to get behind their fellow NextGen ATP stars of tomorrow. Today, we will be highlighting Frances Tiafoe.
At 19 years of age, Tiafoe is part of the new generation of professional tennis players and hopes to be the next American success story.
In 2014, at the mere age of 15, he became the youngest player to win the prestigious Orange Bowl. He went on to secure the Easter Bowl title and become the first player to take home both crowns in the same year since John McEnroe in 1976.
Tiafoe is coming into his own on the professional tour. This season, he has claimed two Challenger titles—Sarasota and Aix-en-Provence—to bring his career total to four. He is now setting his sights on ATP events.
Standing at 6’2” and building on his natural athleticism and powerful forehand, the American has qualified for three ATP World Tour events, including the Australian Open and the Miami Masters 1000. He ousted Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2 to achieve his first Grand Slam victory and made it to the second round in Miami before falling in a tough battle against Roger Federer.
On the topic of young talent, Patrick McEnroe, former general manager of player development at the USTA, made his opinion of Tiafoe perfectly clear: “He is definitely the real deal,” said McEnroe. “He has got all the tools. And he has a real good sense of how to play—what shot to hit at the right time, when to sense his opponent is feeling the pressure so he doesn’t have to do too much, or when he has to do a little more.”
In Quebec, Tiafoe has done well. Last year, he lifted the trophy at the Granby National Bank Challenger. This summer in Montreal, he hopes to shine when he takes to the courts at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank for the very first time.
Feature photo: ATP World Tour