Frances Tiafoe Fist Pump

“I’m ready to do a lot of great things in 2021,” says motivated Tiafoe

Frances Tiafoe says that the pandemic was “probably the best thing that happened to me in my career,” as he prepares for the Australian Open.

The world number 62 American dropped more than 30 places in the ATP rankings in 2020, but a run to the last 16 at the US Open showed improvement for the 23-year-old.

“My ranking took a serious hit, obviously losing the quarter-finals [points] in Melbourne,” Tiafoe told “It kind of saved me, because I had Miami coming up where I was defending quarter-finals [points].

“I looked at the guy in the mirror [and asked], ‘Why are you here? What are the things you need to change and what are the things you need to keep building on?’ It helped me a lot. There were a lot of deep conversations with my guys and I wouldn’t have made it to the second week of the US Open without that.”

Tiafoe started 2021 with a quarter-final showing at the Delray Beach Open this month, and is currently quarantining in Melbourne under strict Covid-19 regulations.

In a reflective interview, Tiafoe also said that he believes he has “definitely changed a lot, it doesn’t maybe seem that way but I have definitely changed a lot.”

“I definitely understand that you are going to be one of the guys who is going to have fun every week and everyone loves or you are going to be a guy that everyone loves, but [also someone] they are going to see going deep in tournaments with the fans really embracing you,” said Tiafoe.

“I think with me doing that, obviously with the Australia run, fans really embraced that and really got behind that. Instead of being the guy that has fun, I am trying to be the guy who is going to be legendary.”

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.