Frances Tiafoe: America’s 1st Black Male Tennis Star Since Arthur Ashe

    Theres a new potential American star in mens tennis. And hes African-American. The Williams Sisters have been the lifeline of American tennis for decades and the novelty of them being African-American has changed the face of the sport forever. The mens side hasn’t had a major star of color dominating the landscape since Arthur Ashe in the ’70s. 

    The Best Of Tennis: Arthur Ashe

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    Frances Tiafoe, a product of College Park Tennis Club in Maryland, might be the first. The 20 year old coasted to his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday, beating Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-1, 6-4 at the Delray Beach Open. 

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    Reach first ever @ATPWorldTour Final Win first ever @ATPWorldTour Title Congrats @FTiafoe!

    Tiafoe is the youngest American to win an ATP World Tour title since 19-year-old Andy Roddick in 2002. His first title has emphatically introduced him to the tennis world after an amazing two weeks in which his talents came to a head and the direction of his tennis career hit a major upward trajectory.  

    Prior to last week’s New York Open, Tiafoe had won nine tour-level matches (9-31) and had never reached a tour-level quarter-final. After making the top eight in the Open, he was victorious in Delray Beach and has almost doubled his tour-level win count (16) and his popularity. 

    According to atpworldtour.com, he’s the first among a heralded class of #NextGenATP Americans, which includes , Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz, to win an ATP World Tour title. 

    Tiafoe Revisits College Park Roots Uncovered 2017

    ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot goes back to where it all began for Frances Tiafoe, at College Park. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/2dj6EhW Visit the official site of men’s professional tennis: http://www.atpworldtour.com/ FOLLOW THE ATP WORLD TOUR Watch live and on demand: http://www.tennistv.com/ Check live scores: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/scores View the latest rankings: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/rankings Meet the players: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players Follow the tournaments: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/tourna…

    Tiafoe will receive 250 ATP Rankings points and is projected to rise to No. 61, just one spot off his career high, on Monday. He will also receive $94,280 in prize money. 

    American tennis, particularly on the mens side, has needed a kick in the rear for some time and the sport is finally focusing on age 21 or under potential stars who are ranked in the Top 200 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. These players are billed as the “Next Generation” of stars on the ATP World Tour.

    Putting the focus on potential superstars is a way to build and inspire a following and fan base for younger generations of tennis fans.  Last year, Sam Querrey, a 29-year-old from California, ousted defending champion Andy Murray at Wimbledon and became the first American man to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament since Andy Roddick in 2009.

    My Story: Frances Tiafoe

    Frances Tiafoe remembers the mind games and the tension as he prepared to face his idol, Roger Federer, for the first time in Miami last year, in this edition of My Story, delivered by FedEx.

    Frances Tiafoe is a young black star that we will be following intensely now that he has broken through and put himself at the top of Americas Next generation of possible tennis icons. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.