The #TennisAtHome initiative proposed for weeks by the ATP continues to rescue stories from some professional players about their experiences and their relationship with tennis. On this occasion the guest was Francis Tiafoe, who revealed the way in which he came to tennis, or rather, the way in which tennis came to him. In addition, the American also underlines what his goals are beyond results: to become a benchmark for other people of color who dream of reaching the professional circuit. Nothing more and nothing less.
But the most curious thing about the current world number 81 is his way of telling how tennis chose him and never the other way around, as if he were chosen. “At no time did I choose to practice this sport, in any way. I love to say that tennis chose me. I remember when I went to school with my brother and when we went out we couldn’t wait for the moment to hold a racket and hit a tennis ball on the court. It was fun times, we spent a lot of time together, it was a great brotherhood, ”he recounts of those days when his twin brother Franklin was his greatest adventure companion.
Of course, the history of Tiafoe is not like that of many other Europeans who since childhood have facilities to practice this sport. However, Francis was always clear, his passion for tennis made him overcome any adversity that came his way. “I just made the decision to play every day, that’s how I kept improving over time. I was pursuing a goal that might seem unrealistic, but my feeling was that it would come true soon, “reveals the Maryland one.
At 19 years old, the American was already one of the hundred best tennis players on the circuit, confirming the discovery of a brilliant generation that was cooking in the Americas. “That’s how I did it, I followed my course, I had a vision, it is impossible to achieve anything if you don’t dream it. It is important to obsess over anything you want to achieve and I was obsessed with playing tennis. I was obsessed with seeing it, with being close to the sport, learning, absorbing everything I saw around me, “says the man who resides these days in Orlando.
You have already seen it, there is no greater secret than the work to reach the goal. “It has to become a priority, betting everything on it so that you are able to sacrifice certain things. You will be able to say that I sacrificed many things from my childhood, many important moments being just a child, but in return I was enjoying the best moment of my life, so I was enjoying it a lot, it was all I wanted to do, ”he says with emotion. A peculiar story with an additional challenge that he has taken on himself. “I was always different from other children. Now I want to be known as a guy who takes great care of his fans, someone who dreams of building an incredible legacy. My goal is to help more black people to play tennisI want to be a good role model ”, he summarizes.