Getting to Know:
Ashley Marshall | January 16, 2019
Frances Tiafoe earned the first Top-5 win of his career on Wednesday in Melbourne, defeating US Open finalist and No. 5 seed Kevin Anderson in the second round of the Australian Open.
Tiafoe fought from a set down to prevail, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5, to punch his ticket into the third round Down Under for the first time in his career. He’ll face Andreas Seppi of Italy for a place in the fourth round on Friday.
Here’s more on the rising American star, who called his win over Anderson the biggest victory of his life.
The Frances Tiafoe File
Birthplace: Hyattsville, Md.
Current Rank: 39
Career-High Rank: 38 (August 2018)
Best US Open Finish: Round 2 (2018)
- Tiafoe is into the third round of a Grand Slam for the second time in his career, matching a run to the Round of 32 at Wimbledon last summer.
On the lawns of the All-England Club, Tiafoe upset No. 30 seed Fernando Verdasco in the first round.
- Tiafoe is projected to climb to at least No. 34 in the ATP rankings when the points are updated after the Australian Open. That would lift him to a new career high, putting him on the cusp of being seeded at a major for the first time at the French Open in May.
- Earlier this month, Tiafoe partnered with Serena Williams at the Hopman Cup, an international team tennis event that combines singles and mixed doubles matches. Among the notable matches Tiafoe played was the historic mixed doubles contest with Williams against Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic – the first time Williams had played Federer – with Tiafoe saying it was one of the coolest things he has ever experienced on a tennis court.
- The Maryland native’s most memorable appearance in New York came at the 2017 US Open, when he squared off against Roger Federer in a night match in Arthur Ashe Stadium and pushed the five-time men's champion to five sets before falling, 6-4, in the fifth set.
- Tiafoe was born in Hyattsville, Md., the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone. His father was part of the construction crew that built the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., where Tiafoe and his brother trained for many years.
To read five more quotes from Tiafoe’s press conference, click here.