Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

120511Francis Tiafoe071 Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

Francis Tiafoe, right, pushes against Nikola Andjelic, left, a staff footwork coach and tennis pro during a volley exercise Friday, May 11, 2012, at the Tennis Center at College Park.

Francis Tiafoe is the top 14-year-old boys tennis player in the world. His father, Constant Tiafoe, immigrated from Sierra Leone in 1996, where he found a construction job building and later became the maintenance man at the Tennis Center at College Park. The Center let him live in a now converted office until 2010. For a while Francis and his twin brother Franklin would sleep at the center five days a week. Misha Kouznetsov, a tennis pro at the Center saw potential in Francis and has trained the twins since they were eight. Constant and his family have since moved into an apartment five minutes away, and the boys train and go to school full-time at the Center.

Click here to read the New York Times story, written by recently retired NFL Defensive End Trevor Pryce.

For more photos from my take, check out the gallery or slideshowon my archive.

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Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, trains during an intense strength and conditioning session at the Tennis Center at College Park in Maryland, Friday, May 11, 2012.

120511Francis Tiafoe243 Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

Misha Kouznetsov, coach for Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country trains Francis and his twin brother Franklin at the Tennis Center at College Park in Maryland Friday, May 11, 2012.

120511Francis Tiafoe278 Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country works on his serve during practice at Tennis Center at College Park, Friday, May 11, 2012.

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Franklin Tiafoe, foreground, picks up tennis balls with his twin brother Francis.

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Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, and his twin brother Franklin would occasionally sleep on the massage tables in this room at the Tennis Center at College Park when it was a massage room, according to their coach Misha Kouznetsov. The room has since been converted to the coach's office.

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Constant Tiafoe, father to Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, used to live in this room by himself after he immigrated from Sierra Leon, he worked as a janitor for the Tennis Center at College Park. The room had a bed, a television and a closet. Currently it's being used as the intern office.

120511Francis Tiafoe141 Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, chats with teammates during a moment of respite at an intense strength and conditioning session at the Tennis Center at College Park in Maryland, Friday, May 11, 2012.

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Francis Tiafoe walks towards the Tennis Center at College Park's club house after a long day of school and working out.

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After practice Friday, May 11, 2012, Francis Tiafoe, left, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, his twin brother Franklin, far right, and their friend Kenneth Downing, 16, middle, get a ride from the brothers' tennis coach Misha Kouznetsov to the Tiafoe's apartment in College Park, Maryland.

120511Francis Tiafoe426 Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

After practice Friday, May 11, 2012, Francis Tiafoe, middle, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, his twin brother Franklin, left, and their friend Kenneth Downing, 16, right, walk to the Tiafoe's apartment in College Park, Maryland.

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Sitting in front of a cabinet and wall filled with Tennis accolades, Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, works on his laptop in his family's small College Park apartment Friday, May 11, 2012.

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Alphina Kamara, mother of Francis Tiafoe, the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country, sits in her family's College Park apartment Friday, May 11, 2012.

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Francis Tiafoe, middle, is the top-ranked 14-year-old tennis player in the country. He is flanked by his twin brother Franklin and his dad Constant in the dining room of their College Park Maryland apartment.

The Story ran through two different photos on the New York Times homepage! Woohoo!!!

Screen Shot 2012 05 23 at 6.05.22 PM Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

 

Screen Shot 2012 05 23 at 4.46.52 PM Tennis Phenom Francis Tiafoe for the New York Times

 

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