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After winning his second Tour title in Houston this past weekend, Francis Tiafoe is becoming the new face of U.S. Men’s Tennis, rising to No. 11 in the ATP ranking.

Playing in front of a packed house in Houston, Francis Tiafoe cruised to a dominant tournament win Sunday, not dropping a single set en route to his second Tour title of his career. 

The 25-year-old was forced to play four matches in two days following inclement weather, but that did not stop him on the way to winning his first ATP singles title since 2018.

Tiafoe shocked the world when he snapped Rafael Nadal’s 22-match win streak at the 2022 U.S. Open. Tiafoe was a No. 22 seed, beating the No. 2 seed Nadal in four sets.

“I don’t even know what to say right now. I’m beyond happy. I can’t believe it,” said Tiafoe, who beat Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. “He’s one of the greatest of all time. I played unbelievable tennis today, but I don’t even know what happened.”

With his win Sunday, Tiafoe jumped four spots to an ATP ranking of No. 11, his highest ever.

“My second title, here in Houston on U.S. soil, so thank you!” Tiafoe said to the supportive crowd.

Tiafoe is the son of immigrants who moved to the U.S. in the 1990’s from war-torn Sierra Leone. He became the first Black American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since Arthur Ashe in 1972.

“Watching Serena and Venus [Williams] play finals of Grand Slams, when I was super young, I was like, ‘How cool would it be to play Wimbledon, to play on Arthur Ashe and stuff like that?’” Tiafoe said after his win against Rafael Nadal.

After Serena’s exit from competitive tennis, Tiafoe joins 19-year-old Coco Gauff as the new faces of U.S. Tennis.

Black Stars like Francis Tiafoe Leading U.S. Tennis

As Serena stepped away from competitive tennis, a young Black woman she inspired stepped in to be the new face of U.S. women’s tennis.

At only 15-years-old, Coco Gauff stepped into the world spotlight when she beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the final of the Upper Austria Ladies tournament, her first WTA singles trophy.

“I’m still overwhelmed and shocked,” Gauff said. “I guess it’s crazy to say it’s my first WTA title. This was definitely not on the calendar at the beginning of the year, because I didn’t think I’d have a chance to get in, and now I’m the champion, so it’s crazy.”

Currently ranked No. 6 in the world by WTA, Gauff has won three career singles titles, won over $6.5 million in prize money, and been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, all before turning 20.

U.S. Tennis seems to be in good hands with two promising young tennis stars near the top of their sport.

Mike Creef is a fighter for equality and justice for all. Growing up bi-racial (Jamaican-American) on the east coast allowed him to experience many different cultures and beliefs that helped give him a...

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