There’s a new sheriff in College Park, and he’s 14-year-old Frances Tiafoe. There’s even a certain feeling of guilt that the name has yet to be mentioned on Tennis Maryland.
But the name FRANCES TIAFOE is worth filing under “Tennis: Maryland”. Score another one for the Junior Tennis Champions Center and the Tennis Center at College Park, where his dad of the same name coaches. Tiafoe was schooled at Greenbelt’s public Springhill Lake Elementary before entering the JTCC program in 2010.
Naturally, ZooTennis is the singular site on Junior Tennis. On more than one occasion, we noticed ZT’s Colette Lewis regaling us about this young Free Stater taking junior titles at (then aged) 13.
Finally, the other day, Tennis Grandstand’s Kelyn Soong forwarded a link from Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd. SI’s Alexandra Fenwick picks Tiafoe as the sole up-and-comer in the current installment’s tennis category and further states:
Francis, who studies and trains at his hometown’s Junior Tennis Champions Center, where he is in eighth grade, won the boys’ singles at Les Petits As in Tarbes, France, 6-0, 6-2 over William Blumberg (Greenwich, Conn.). Francis dropped just one set as the No. 4 seed. The nation’s top-ranked boy under 14, he also took the boys’ singles title as the No. 15 seed at the AEGON Junior International tournament in Bolton, England a week earlier, defeating Michael Mmoh (Bradenton, Fla.), 6-3, 6-3.
So, thank you to the aforementioned media mavens who have already discovered this local prodigy. You can get all the scoops below, and look for more on this site. From here on out, you can count on Tennis Maryland to keep a closer eye on this guy!