Frances Tiafoe Is Ready To Win The U.S. Open And Make Tennis Cool

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I am wondering what it’s like at this moment in your career. You’re being profiled in magazines. I just saw you in Vanity Fair. You’ve got N.B.A. stars in your box. It’s got to be pretty wild.

Yeah, I talk about it all the time. That saying that your life can change overnight is 100 percent true. After I beat Rafa Nadal at last year’s Open, I felt like I was looked at totally different. You don’t realize what you’re doing, how crazy it is, while you’re doing it because you’re doing it. I think afterward, going home and buying little things at CVS and ladies are like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe this is you.” It’s been crazy. It’s definitely not meant for everybody. It’s definitely a life shift.

Can you tell me a little bit about that? I mean, very few people will have that experience.

You need to really have solid people around you. Everybody says that but don’t really live by it. A lot of people are going to want to take your time. All of a sudden, everyone wants to be your best friend. The famous guy wants to hang out, and he can do it at that time, but you maybe need to not do that. And I think the biggest thing for me is learning to say no. I still need to do a much better job of that. I’ve seen it eat a lot of people up. It gets to people’s heads.

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What have you said no to that you wanted to do?

Even little things, like an appearance with one of my new brand partners that would have been a cool sit-down with Matt Damon, who I’m a big fan of. But I can’t do it, can’t go. I got to play a tournament. And it’s like, ahhh.

You know, like, going on “The Shop” with LeBron — stuff that I’ve wanted to do, but scheduling just hasn’t quite worked out. And then obviously parties. You’ll get invited, but you probably should play a tournament. The reason people know you? You should probably stay on that.

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