American dream: always at the service of winners

September 7, 2022 1:54 PM ET ...


Frances Tiafoe reacts after winning her match against Rafael Nadal on Monday at the US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York.


Photo:

JAVIER ROJAS/Zuma Press

It’s not easy to persuade this column to watch tennis, but the task becomes easier when the US Open features classic American history. As I write, Frances Tiafoe of the United States is about to start her quarter-final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev. Whatever the turn of the day, Mr. Tiafoe provided a refreshing example of courage in a country still teeming with opportunity.

Watching the US Open can be particularly difficult because, no matter what religion one reads the New York Post’s page six with, the television crew is bound to cover a myriad of celebrities that a viewer still struggles to cover. recognize. But let’s hope the biggest influencer of all at this year’s event is Mr. Tiafoe, inspiring viewers to keep chasing big dreams with perseverance.

The story begins with America, the beautiful refuge of a violent and unjust world. David Waldstein reports for the

New York Times

:

Tiafoe’s uplifting story began when her parents – who had not yet met – left Sierra Leone for the United States in the 1990s to escape a civil war. They each moved to the United States and, after meeting, settled in Maryland and had twins, Franklin and Frances.

The boys’ father, Constant Tiafoe, found work on the construction site of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md. Constant Tiafoe was so industrious that he was offered the position of maintenance manager of installation. He was given an office, where the twins sometimes slept, for better, as they grew old enough to hold racquets, spend time on the courts.

They both played, but Frances showed a unique passion, watching the lessons given to the older boys in the center and mimicking their every move, then hitting balls off the walls and serving ghosts on the outside courts until nightfall.

Most of the older boys didn’t spend as much time serving ghosts and playing evening wall-ball. Therefore, they do not play professional tennis. This type of meritocratic justice is one of the reasons so many people prefer to watch sports at C-Span.

But it may still take years before the effort earns its just reward. Joshua Robinson of the Journal chronicles the 24-year-old’s long journey to overnight success:

Tiafoe, who had risen to No. 2 in the World Junior Rankings, has been a professional since he was 16 but never lived up to the hype. His Grand Slam runs usually ended in the first week. He only has one touring title to his credit. On the contrary, Tiafoe admits, stepping into the role of America’s young prospect after so many barren years for American men’s tennis was too soon.

“I wasn’t ready for that,” Tiafoe said. “I wasn’t mature enough for those times.”

“The next great American tennis player is a traitorous coat, and Tiafoe has been on a slow grind,” adds Jason Gay of the Journal. Everything changed on Monday, when our hero shocked the tennis world by beating legendary Spaniard Rafael Nadal, winner of 22 major championships.

Mr Gay writing:

Tiafoe beat Nadal by outplaying him: playing physically, returning hard punches with harder punches and moving his elder ruthlessly. He pushed Nadal against the wall, and just as Nadal appeared about to come back, he pushed harder. Everything clicked…

When it was over, Tiafoe cried. In his player box was his family, who had seen his ups and downs and all the lonely spaces in between. Tiafoe buries his face in his hands, revealing a pair of rubber bracelets he wears on his right wrist: one in the colors of the University of Maryland football team, the other with an all-caps warning. : BELIEVE. WHY NOT ME.

Why not, indeed. Andrea Peyser of the New York Post reasonably concludes:

Perhaps nowhere else on this planet can a person’s natural talents combine with their willingness to work like a demon to reap such rewards. Remember that the next time the American bash mob tears down the greatest nation in the world.

***

James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China, and American Renewal.”

***

Follow James Freeman on Twitter.

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(Teresa Vozzo helps compile Best of the Web.)

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