Roger Federer survived a five-set thriller against gutsy 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in the first round of the U.S. Open late Tuesday night.
His father, an immigrant from Sierra Leone, was the custodian at a posh tennis country club in College Park, Md., and took Frances with him to work regularly.
Frances napped on the massage tables while his father swept and cleaned, and he eventually picked up a racket.
At 17, he earned a wild card to the French Open, the youngest American to do so since Michael Chang in 1989.
Friday night, he wound up on the U.S. Open center court against one of the game’s legends, and proved he is certainly a player to watch for in the future.
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