Frances Tiafoe appreciates ‘crazy, wild’ support from Derrick Rose, Queen Latifah, Joakim Noah

Frances Tiafoe walking

American Frances Tiafoe was grateful for support from NBA star Derrick Rose and other celebrities after beating Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in the French Open this week.

Rose, who plays for the New York Knicks, former Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah and American actress Queen Latifah attended Rose’s first-round win over Krajinovic.

“It’s crazy. Bringing those guys to court seven is wild,” said Tiafoe.

“They could be doing so many other things, especially here in Paris, and they decided to come watch me.

“It is testament to what diversity in sport does. Being able to bring guys like that, come watch a game of tennis, because of me, is great.”

Tiafoe beat Spanish star Rafael Nadal to reach a US Open semi-final in 2022. At the time, former first lady Michelle Obama attended one of his matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I love it, I love it. You just want to show up because they’re there, and not in a nervous way, or a pressure way,” he added.

“I’m just like, ‘I’m going to put on a show for them, just like how they put on a show for millions of people.

“I’m just trying to do me. It’s more of an appreciation that they want to come and watch me.”

The 25-year-old Taifoe is the men’s singles number 12 seed at the French Open. He has never advanced beyond the second round at Roland Garros.

“I’m pretty excited. Coming in with a pretty good mindset this year. Obviously my highest rank, so I’m super excited get over there,” he told the Daily Mail earlier this week.

“My goal is to try to win the Grand Slam and get in the top 10,’ Tiafoe exclusively told from his hotel room in Nice last week.

“Those are my base goals. I’m really knocking on the door of the top 10. How many I can win? I don’t know. But I know I am capable of winning one.

“I have a great team around me,’ he said. They keep me grounded, keep me humble. Having people around you that generally care for you is so big, not just people around you that are here because of who you are or who you’re coming.”

Tiafoe, too, has reached the quarter-finals stage of the Australian Open – that was in 2019. This year, he reached the Indian Wells Masters semi-finals.

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