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Frances Tiafoe’s Messy Player Bench Is Relatable

  • Frances Tiafoe is the first American man to make the US Open semifinals since 2006.
  • The 24-year-old took down Rafael Nadal and Andrey Rublev in back-to-back matches at the grand slam.
  • Fans have taken notice of his messy player bench, which he called “diabolical” on Wednesday.

NEW YORK — Frances Tiafoe has made waves across the tennis world after taking down titans and advancing to the 2022 US Open semifinals.

But the 24-year-old American star has also gotten attention for something unrelated — or at least tangential — to his tennis game.

His messy player bench.

Tiafoe’s player bench during his quarterfinal match against Rublev.
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of his five matches in Flushing Meadows, fans have watched the rising star’s designated area grow larger and more unruly. The sweat-soaked shirts, spare shoes, empty water bottles, and used towels appear to multiply with each set he plays.

Fans and analysts alike have taken notice of the phenomenon and found it rather relatable. After all, who among us hasn’t let their office desk get a bit out of hand during busy season?

Most of us just don’t find ourselves working in front of tens of thousands of spectators — with even more tuning in from home — who could take notice.

“My player bench is diabolical,” Tiafoe said with a smile after beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets Wednesday afternoon.

But “it’s getting the job done,” he added “so who cares right now.”

That’s what I tell my bosses, too. The difference there, of course, is that I’m not the first American man to make the US Open semifinals in 16 years, nor did I beat 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal on center court earlier this week.

Tiafoe.
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Tiafoe is set to take on the winner of Wednesday night’s match between Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz and Italy’s Jannik Sinner for a trip to his first-ever grand slam final. In the meantime, he’ll relax, recover, and mentally prepare for Friday’s match back in his New York City hotel room — which he says “is a disgrace, too.”

“It’s pretty bad,” he said with a chuckle and a knowing smile. “Clothes everywhere.”

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