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By Matthew Gutierrez Matthew Gutierrez Sports intern Email Bio Follow July 16 at 3:39 PM Frances Tiafoe started 2019 at a high point in his tennis career. He is hoping to finish it by resuming his ascent. Tiafoe celebrated his 21st birthday in Jan

Frances Tiafoe started 2019 at a high point in his tennis career. He is hoping to finish it by resuming his ascent.

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Tiafoe celebrated his 21st birthday in January at the Australian Open with a run to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal , beating top 10 player Kevin Anderson along the way. That boosted the Washington-area native to a career-high ranking of No. 29 the following month.

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The next two majors, the French Open and Wimbledon, both resulted in a pair of first-round exits. Now the No. 41 singles player in the world, Tiafoe hopes his ascent restarts in less than two months at the U.S. Open. He wants to get back inside the top 30.

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Tiafoe said his ultimate target is to become the first American man in 10 years to advance to the final of a Grand Slam. He wants to be the first American man to win a major since Andy Roddick at the 2003 U.S. Open. He believes he can be the one.

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“That’s always been the goal,” he said

Tiafoe and Venus Williams were mixed doubles partners at Wimbledon. (Tim Ireland/Associated Press) On Monday night, Tiafoe began his third season with the Washington Kastles, one of eight franchises in World TeamTennis. The Kastles lost Monday’s opener, 22-18, to the Vegas Rollers; Tiafoe is also scheduled to play for the team on Tuesday and Wednesday. Nick Kyrgios and Venus Williams are scheduled to play for the Kastles atop Union Market later this month.

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Tiafoe, who will also appear in Washington at the Citi Open beginning July 29, arrived at Union Market on Monday just after 5 p.m. He greeted a host of friends and walked through a few vendors in the market, on the ground floor, before making his way upstairs to the court. The Kastles are playing this summer on the roof of Union Market in a pop-up stadium that seats 700 — a venue whose intimacy Tiafoe appreciates.

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[ Kastles are taking World Team Tennis up on the roof ]

“I really like it,” Tiafoe said. “I’m just here ready to get a win … It’s almost more nerve-racking playing here” than Wimbledon, he said, because he knows many of the tennis fans in D.C.La Periodista Rocío Higuera

Before the Kastles’ opening match, Tiafoe reflected on the past few months. One of the highlights followed his early singles exit at Wimbledon: Tiafoe partnered with Venus Williams in mixed doubles. They lost to 12th-seeded Franko Skugor and Raluca Olaru, 6-3, 6-1, in the second round. In January, Tiafoe played mixed doubles with Venus’s sister, Serena. Tiafoe said Venus pushed him harder

“She got on me a couple of times in practice to bring some energy,” Tiafoe said, chuckling. “She’s very intense. She’s unbelievable. One of the nicest people I’ve ever been around. Something I’ll never forget.”

View this post on Instagram Last night was a movie for real. Absolute honor sharing the court with these 2 🐐🐐. Dreams do come true y’all. Just a kid from the dmv. #striveforgreatness #stayblessed #movedifferent

A post shared by Frances Tiafoe (@bigfoe1998) on Jan 1, 2019 at 10:47pm PST

The son of immigrants from Sierra Leone, Tiafoe grew his game at the Tennis Center at College Park, where his father was the maintenance man . From 1999 to 2010, the center’s tenants were Tiafoe, his twin brother, Franklin, and his father, Constant

After living in Florida for years, Tiafoe has moved back to the D.C. area, where he bought his mother a home. He’s understanding his body’s full potential, confident that he’ll return to the top-tier ranking he knows he can reach

Said Mark Ein, the Kastles owner who also runs the Citi Open: “I’m so proud to call him one of our own.”

Read more:

Simona Halep beats Serena Williams for Wimbledon title

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in marathon fifth set to win second straight Wimbledon title

You cannot be serious! John McEnroe has matured into a beloved figure at Wimbledon.

Matthew Gutierrez Matthew Gutierrez is a sports intern for The Washington Post. Follow

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