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‘We Broke the Mold’- Following Idols Venus and Serena Williams, 25-Year-Old American Star Frances Tiafoe Blows the Trumpet Over Black Athletes’ Dominance on Tennis

Published 05/01/2023, 8:55 AM EDT

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The history of sports for persons of color has not been just. Even in today’s day and age, many players who come from different ethnicities face discrimination in their fields. However, many such players have fought throughout history to improve the image of players who came after them. Frances Tiafoe is a player who is aware of how players such as Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Arthur Ashe have paved the way for him in the present. 

In the past, tennis was considered a majorly white and country club sport. But as time has progressed, the racket sport has become accessible to a larger population. Even Billie Jean King believes the sport has become more amenable to persons of color.

Frances Tiafoe on the achievements of black players 

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Tiafoe is one player who comes from an underprivileged background. To make sure he could bring peace to his family, he put his all into tennis. With his efforts, he was able to uplift himself and provide comfort to his parents. However, Tiafoe is not ignorant of the difficulties other players have experienced. 

USA Today via Reuters

In a recent interview with El Pais, Tiafoe talked about the history of black players in tennis. He was asked to relay his thoughts about a few black players finding success in tennis. Tiafoe believed that the road had been difficult, but it had been paved.

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As per the world number 11, many players in history have contributed to making the sport more accessible for fans. He named Venus and Serena Williams were on the women’s side as some of the most influential players. He also stated the names of Arthur Ashe, Yannick Noah and James Blake. 

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Tiafoe also said that he wants his name to be added to the list of black players who improved the sport. “I just want to be in that list of names. On the girls’ side, outside of Serena and Venus, there was Lori McNeil, Zina Garrison, Chanda Rubin, there’s been a lot of players and there’s always been someone who paved the way before you do it“.

He added that people of non-white races progressing in the sport has more of an impact. He reasoned that tennis is now readily available to a wider range of people.  

It means much more, people of color doing something in the game of tennis, which is normally a white sport, you know mostly called a country club kind of sport, I think we broke the mold, we’ve got other people to be more involved in sport and to follow the sport.”

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Tiafoe’s words have a resounding effect as he wants to give back to the sport. He has recognized the efforts made by his predecessors and hopes that he will have the same effect on the players who will come in the future.

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Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba

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Ripunjay is a Tennis writer with an unwavering passion for the sport and a deep admiration for Roger Federer. He specializes in providing in-depth coverage of everything related to the 'Swiss Maestro.' Ripunjay's love for tennis is evident in the quality of his writing, which is characterized by its clarity, depth, and insightful analysis.
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Edited by:

Sreeda U M