Frances Tiafoe Meets Michelle Obama After Wild US Open Match

Frances Tiafoe Meets Michelle Obama After Wild US Open Match

  • American tennis star Frances Tiafoe faced Carlos Alcaraz in a blockbuster US Open semifinal match.
  • Michelle Obama was courtside at Arthur Ashe Stadium cheering for the 24-year-old Maryland native.
  • After Tiafoe lost, the former first lady met with him and offered him praise and reassurance.

Frances Tiafoe enjoyed the ride of his still-young career at the 2022 US Open.

The 24-year-old Maryland native became the first American man to advance to a semifinal match in Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick reached the Grand Slam’s final in 2006. On Friday, as he faced then-world No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz in a highly anticipated matchup, with a trip to the championship match on the line, Tiafoe had a megawatt fan in the stands.

Michelle Obama sits courtside at the US Open.

Obama sits courtside at the US Open.

REUTERS/Mike Segar


Former First Lady Michelle Obama was seated in the front row at Arthur Ashe Stadium as Tiafoe played a five-set thriller against Alcaraz. Though he lost a 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6 decision to the eventual US Open champion, Tiafoe showed admirable fight throughout the entire affair — all four hours and 19 minutes.

Obama was visibly cheering for the young American star throughout the match. And once it ended, she was among the first to tell Tiafoe how proud she was of his efforts.

“He was watching. He’s so proud of you,” Obama said, presumably referring to her husband, the 44th President of the United States. “We’re both very proud of you.”

Frances Tiafoe.

Tiafoe celebrates taking down Rafael Nadal during the fourth round of the US Open.

Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports


She also made sure to push back against the apology Tiafoe issued during his on-court interview following the match. He had said he felt as though he let the crowd down, which Obama assured him was decidedly not the case.

“You did not let anyone down tonight,” Obama said. “Don’t even let that spirit come over you. You were amazing, have been amazing, made us all so proud.”

Then she offered a classic mom-ism: “I hope you had fun out there!”

Frances Tiafoe.

Tiafoe celebrates winning his quarterfinal match against Andrey Rublev.

Robert Deutsch – USA TODAY Sports


After exchanging some more pleasantries, Obama promised to let Tiafoe go on with his evening and, hopefully, get some rest. When he said that it was an honor to meet her, she replied: “The honor is all mine — just keep it up.”

Check out the behind-the-scenes clip of their interaction below:

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