College Park Tennis Prodigy Is On The Court To Greatness

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Francis Tiafoe
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ)—He’s a budding tennis star and he’s from Maryland. He is the son of immigrants from the West African nation of Sierra Leone.

Ron Matz has more on an amazing young man from College Park.

In the world of tennis, a 16-year-old from Maryland could soon become a household name.

When he’s not playing tennis, Francis Tiafoe is studying at the tennis center at College Park.

The most buzzed about young American tennis player is on a scholarship, and his days are long.

“I have lunch for a half hour, then I do school again from 12:30 to 2, then I play tennis from 2 til 4, and 4 to 6 I go to school again,” Tiafoe said.

Tiafoe wouldn’t be here without his father, who was the tennis center’s janitor and who lived in a small storage room which became his office.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be where I am right now, wouldn’t be traveling. I think about it a lot,” Tiafoe said about his father.

Last year, Tiafoe won the prestigious Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in Florida. He’s in good company.

“Guys like Federer won it. Björn Borg, Andy Roddick. Being on a list of those names is a huge deal,” Tiafoe said.

This summer is a major test for Tiafoe. He’ll play the best 18-year-old players in the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in New York.

In College Park, he’s courting big dreams, keeping an eye on the future.

Tiafoe is the top seed at the French Open junior tennis championships starting in Paris on June 1.

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