SYDNEY, November 17, 2018 (Press Release)
Talented American Frances Tiafoe will join fellow breakthrough sensations Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kyle Edmund at the Sydney International in January.
Tiafoe has established himself as one of the most exciting rising stars in men’s tennis in 2018, becoming the youngest American to win an ATP World Tour title (since Andy Roddick in 2002) when he claimed the ATP 250 title at the Delray Beach Open in February. Other season highlights include reaching the final at Estoril in May and the fourth round at Miami in March, and making his ATP Next Gen Finals debut in Milan in November.
And Tiafoe’s impressive 2018 record is matched by an equally impressive rise up the rankings.
His parents emigrated from Sierra Leone to the United States in 1996, two years before his birth. From the age of three he learned to play tennis at the Junior Tennis Champions Centre near Washington DC where his father was the head of maintenance, earning himself a full scholarship at the age of eight.
“My first real memory was my dad taking me and my twin brother (Franklin) to the club and holding our hand while we hit a ball against a backboard,” Tiafoe told BBC Sport.
“As we got older, we would go school and tap the ball against the wall and when there was a court open, we would hop on.”
Tiafoe was 15 when he became the youngest boys’ singles champion in the history of the prestigious Orange Bowl junior tournament. He won four titles from nine finals on the ATP Challenger Tour before switching his focus almost entirely to tour-level events in 2018.
He hit a career-high ranking of No.38 in August, and will end the season ranked inside the world’s top 50 for the first time in his career.
Tiafoe said he is looking forward to seeing the sights in Sydney before getting down to business at Sydney Olympic Park from 6 – 12 January.
“I’ve heard Sydney is an unbelievable city,” 20-year-old said.
“I’m definitely going to enjoy myself there and try to start the year on a high note.”
Tournament Director Lawrence Robertson said he was delighted that Tiafoe will join ATP Next Gen Champion Tsitsipas at the Sydney International in January.
“If you want a glimpse of the future of men’s tennis, look no further than next year’s Sydney International men’s draw,” Robertson said.
“It was quite a coup for us to secure ATP Next Gen Champion Stefanos, and Frances is another stand-out talent among the current crop of the ATP’s Next Gen players.
“Frances’ ability to hit winners from any point on the court has firmly established him as a fan favourite, and I am excited that he’s chosen to use the Sydney International as a launch pad for his 2019 season.”
Sydney International 2019 multi-session and single session tickets are on sale now through the Ticketek website:www.ticketek.com.au