There is no overnight tennis star. A player may burst into public view during a tournament, or he may burst into the limelight in a bright afternoon, but before that, thousands of hours, perhaps tens of thousands, of that same player hiding, competing, practicing, fighting, fighting, survival…trying to summon this moment. There are bad weeks, lost months, maybe some rough years. A one night stand is the complete opposite.
Take Francis Tiafon for example. On Monday evening at the US Open in New York City, the 24-year-old from Hyattsville, MD. He won the biggest game of his life. By defeating the number 2 seed of the tournament, Rafael Nadal, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, to advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinals. It’s an impressive win over a legendary opponent, and catapults Tiafon to new heights and visibility. Suddenly, people who don’t follow tennis are asking: What’s the deal with this Francis Tiafoe?