American junior star Francis Tiafoe, 17, turns pro
Francis Tiafoe will turn professional and sign with Roc Nation Sports, the 17-year-old American junior announced on Monday.
Tiafoe, from College Park, Md., is considered an emerging star in American tennis. No American has won a Grand Slam event since Andy Roddick captured the 2003 U.S. Open.
In 2013, a 15-year-old Tiafoe became the youngest winner in the history of the Orange Bowl International and followed up by winning the 2014 Easter Bowl. He made his ATP Tour debut in July, losing to Russia's Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
He is currently ranked No. 520 in the world by the ATP, after he peaked as the world's No. 2 junior player.
Tiafoe is the first tennis player to sign with Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports division, which recently split off from the Creative Artists Agency. Roc Nation also manages Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano and Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, among other athletes.
- Alex Putterman