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“We genuinely want to see each other do well”: Tiafoe says success of Americans rubbing off on one another
Frances Tiafoe is one of five American men still left in the Miami Open. After becoming the first to reach the last 16, the 24-year-old spoke about how the American men are inspiring one another
The current ATP rankings has seven American men in the top 40 and 12 American men in the top 100 rankings – both of which are the highest for any country in that bracket. While American men’s tennis has not seen the highs of the Sampras-Agassi-Courier-Chang golden generation, the rise of the American youngsters (six of the seven in the top 40 and eight of the 12 in the top 100 are 24 years old or younger), has not gone unnoticed.
One of those youngsters, 24-year-old Frances Tiafoe says that the success of his compatriots has fueled a belief in the rest that they can also follow suit.
Speaking to the press after reaching the round of 16 in Miami, Tiafoe spoke about the recent success of American men, the latest of which saw Taylor Fritz winning the Indian Wells Masters title last week.
“I think it’s been interesting. Like, Taylor Fritz, we’re kind of the first guys to break top 100. Fritz made final of a 250 when we were super young. I made quarter-final of Australia really young. Top 30, 20 years old, 21 years old. Me and Fritz kind of going. Reilly’s kind of figured out, Reilly Opelka breaks through, Tommy Paul starts to break through. You have Sebastian Korda, these guys.”
“I think seeing guys that you grew up with doing well, you’re like, Well, this guy can do it. I grew up with him. I’ve beaten him how many times. Why not? But it’s all good blow. We genuinely want to see each other do well. It’s good.”
The Big 3 don’t play every Masters. Finally there is a little opening in tennis. : Tiafoe
Tiafoe added that the Big 3 (Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer) not playing all of the Masters Series events has further created an opening for other players , including the Americans, to take advantage of.
“Then also finally there is a little opening in tennis. The big guys don’t play every Masters, for example, this one. Big guys, you know what I mean, the big three. So there is a little space for guys. There was a while there where you go deep in an event, and you run into Rafa and them, I was, like, I’m probably going home. But now guys can win it.”
While Tiafoe is already into the fourth round in Miami this week, four other American men will play their third round matches on Monday, with at least one more American being guaranteed a fourth-round berth as Fritz takes on Tommy Paul.
21-year-old Sebastian Korda meets Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic while Jenson Brooksby, just three months younger than Korda, meets 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
For his part, Taifoe will meet Francisco Cerundolo in the last 16 on Tuesday, two days after beating the Argentine’s younger brother Juan Manuel Cerundolo.
“I have actually never even seen, like to have two brothers. Hats off to them. That’s incredible. Super, super cool. I mean, both brothers, top 100, playing Miami. Could have played fourth round of the Miami Open, it’s crazy. So that’s pretty cool.”