Frances Tiafoe was two wins from his dream last September, reaching the semifinals of the US Open. The 25-year-old American feels he can do better and reach that goal of winning a Slam.
“Win a Grand Slam,” Tiafoe said of his goal. “Be No. 1 in the world, great, but if I can walk away from the game, I won a slam, I will sleep totally well at night. No one’s gonna tell me shit. I’m gonna be, Oh, I’m a Grand Slam champion. I will be pumped, preferably US Open.”
Tiafoe was a top junior but struggled for years on the tour with consistency and belief. But he said things finally began to click when he won the Vienna final run in 2021 when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner before losing to Alexander Zverev in the final.
“Beat a lot of quality guys that week. Then started 2022 with some injuries. You know, that was tough,” Tiafoe said. “Probably that week where I was like, Okay, I can play with these guys for real when I’m locked in.”
He ended last season with a Tokyo final and a Paris Masters quarters. He’s now into his first Masters semifinal and he rolls in without dropping a set.
“I’m in semis at Indian Wells, so why not try to win Indian Wells first?” he said.
Tiafoe, though is 0-4 against Medvedev winning just one of 11 sets. But the two haven’t played in nearly two years and Tiafoe has greatly improved.
“Just training more than anything, right, taking ownership of my career,” Tiafoe said of his rise. “Just being professional day in, day out, you know, on the court, off the court, and getting proper rest. You know, be on time, doing things the right way. You know, things you eat, everything.
“I think all that has kind of helped me grow on and off court. That’s kind of shows. I’m not playing as many loose points as I was before. I’m very much focused. I’m still getting the crowd into it but I’m very in it, in the match.”
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