“I feel like I have everything I ever wanted,” says Frances Tiafoe

How Frances Tiafoe went from sleeping at a tennis center to the US Open semifinals

Frances Tiafoe had one question on his mind as he sat on a bench in the outdoor courts at Forest Hills Stadium on Wednesday.

“How does it feel to come here, and I have the No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis right now,” he asked his coach, Andrew “Smitty” Smith.

“I don’t know,” Smith replied. “You kind of have your answer now too.”

Before the first women’s tennis match of the day, and after watching the US Open semifinals for nearly a month, Smith had become emotional. His voice began to crack as he spoke of what he had accomplished in his first season with Tiafoe, one where the two had bonded over their love for tennis, as well as their friendship.

“I feel like I have everything I ever wanted,” Smith, 26, said of his first season with Tiafoe, who had played no singles matches in five months because of an injury. “I feel happy, I feel lucky, I feel awesome.”

Tiafoe, who had been competing at the Rio Olympics this season, was still hobbling around the court after her first match with Julia Görges, not able to fully move her lower body. Tiafoe had been expected to play in the first-round match, and had been assured by Smith she would be there to make her second start. But Görges wasn’t ready, and Tiafoe was going to miss her first match after injuring her ankle early in the match. Smith, who had been training with Tiafoe in the off-season, was devastated.

But Smith, who has been working with so many athletes, including Serena Williams and Steffi Graf, knew the next time he would hear from Tia

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