Frances Tiafoe, a 20-year-old American from Riverdale in Prince George’s County, reached the third round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, beating Julien Benneteau of France, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, at Wimbledon Thursday with the help of 22 aces.
The 52nd-ranked Tiafoe, a product of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, produced 52 winners and only 14 unforced errors while eliminating the 36-year-old Benneteau.
Tiafoe upset the 30th-seeded Fernando Verdasco in the first round.
Tiafoe was raised in College Park, where his father was a maintenance worker at the Junior Tennis Champions Center, and lived with his family in an office that served as their apartment. He already has reached a level where his income from the sport has taken his parents a long way from the struggles they faced after arriving in the United States as immigrants from Sierra Leone.
“I've still got a long way to go,” Tiafoe told the Associated Press earlier this week. “But I said, ‘Look, I'm going to change everybody's life, I'm going to buy you all a house. I'm going to do X, Y, and Z, and everybody's going to live nice at the end of my career and no one is going to have to worry about anything.’ ”
Tiafoe will face 40th-ranked Karen Khachanov in the Round of 32 at a date and time to be determined.