My dad taught me how to love (and sometimes hate) tennis from the time I was a young girl. I grew up cheering for Serena and Venus Williams, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal as they accomplished the highest of feats in the sport’s history. Recently, dad and I discovered young tennis phenom Frances Tiafoe on an ESPN and Gatorade special and we were instantly hooked on his talent and perseverance as a child. Tiafoe is the son of immigrants who fled to America from Sierra Leone when he and his brother were young children. Frances’ father found a job as a custodian at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland and the two young boys grew up there surrounded by some of the best tennis players. Frances picked up one of the tennis rackets in the center’s lost and found area and began teaching himself how to play the game. After quickly falling in love with it, he started training at the age of four. Tiafoe rose to fame as one of the next great American tennis players and began his professional career at age 17 as he made his first Grand Slam appearance at the US Open. In 2016, he faced tennis legend John Isner at the US Open where he ultimately lost in five sets before finishing the year ranked at No. 108 in the world. Tiafoe recorded his first Grand Slam match win at the 2017 Australian Open over Mikhail Kukushkin. Tiafoe most recently gave Roger Federer a scare during the first round of the US Open as he took the tennis great to five sets before ultimately falling in the fifth. Although Tiafoe’s career singles record is 7-25, he’s currently ranked No. 70 and has an extremely bright future ahead of him!