Tiafoe wants LeBron meeting after run to Australian Open quarters
After being outclassed by Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open quarter-finals, Frances Tiafoe has his sights set on a meeting with NBA legend LeBron James.
The 21-year-old, unseeded at Melbourne Park, had never before been beyond the third round of a grand slam and defeating 17-time major champion Nadal proved too tall a task on Tuesday.
Nadal eased into a semi-final clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas courtesy of a routine 6-3 6-4 6-2 success on Rod Laver Arena as Tiafoe had no answer to the relentless Spaniard.
After wins over Kevin Anderson and Andreas Seppi en route to the last eight, Tiafoe imitated James' famed 'Silencer' celebration and the world number 39 was asked if he thought his run to the quarters would boost his chances of meeting the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.
"Man, forget about the slam. I thought once I had the celebration the first couple times, I thought I was going to get a meeting with him," Tiafoe told a news conference.
"I would love to meet him one day. That would mean the world to me.
"I think just kind of talk, pick his brain, see everything he's accomplished, just on and off court, to be just half the guy he is would be unbelievable. I look up to him with everything. He's a true role model."
Tiafoe was subsequently asked if James had messaged him following those copy-cat celebrations, to which he replied: "No, if he texted me, I wouldn't be here right now. I'd be FaceTiming him, if he had my number.
"Just the Instagram comment. Yeah, 'the silencer', that's all he said. That's it."