Frances Tiafoe visits Wizards’ practice to shoot hoops with his buddy Bradley Beal

Tiafoe visits Wizards’ practice to shoot hoops with his buddy Beal originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The connection between one of the United States’ best young tennis talents and the Washington Wizards keeps on growing.

Frances Tiafoe, an American tennis star fresh off an appearance in the U.S. Open semifinal, stopped by the Wizards’ practice facility in Southeast D.C. on Tuesday to chum it up with some of the players. Bradley Beal, Deni Avdija and Delon Wright as well as Washington’s coaching staff all got a chance to chat with Tiafoe.
And as always, his trademark smile was tattooed on the tennis star’s face.

“His shot don’t look bad, it don’t look bad,” Bradley Beal said. “It looks really, it looks good. I’ve seen a lot worse.”

After taking to the hardwood, Tiafoe stopped by the coaching offices to chat with Wes Unseld Jr., who immediately asked Tiafoe for an autograph. 

“I’m excited for y’all next year man,” Tiafoe said about the 2022-23 Wizards squad. “I really am. I think it’s gonna be good, man.”

Tiafoe also paid respect to a few Washington Mystics players at the facility as well, including Elena Delle Donne.

Tiafoe is coming off the best summer of his professional career at just 24. He defeated Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open just a few weeks ago en route to an appearance in the tournament semifinal, his best major result. He dropped the semifinal matchup to Carlos Alcaraz, who would end up winning the tournament.

However, Tiafoe bounced back just this weekend with his play at the Laver Cup in London. He clinched the tournament title for Team World on Sunday after edging Team Europe’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Tiafoe’s connection to Washington, and to the Wizards specifically, runs deep. Bradley Beal was in attendance at a couple of Tiafoe’s matches at the U.S. Open a couple of weeks ago, cheering on a fellow DMV sports star. He was locked in for every point of Tiafoe’s victory over Andrey Rublev and the two even embraced after the match. Former Wizards guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was in attendance as well.

Tiafoe will now have a bit of time to relax before beginning training for his next few majors, all leading up to the Australian Open which begins in January 2023. Maybe the autographed pair of Beal’s sneakers he was given on Tuesday will help him during his warmups.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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