Tennis star Frances Tiafoe is sitting in the golden poolside dusk at Amanyara, the Turks and Caicos outpost of the rarefied Aman resorts. This particular vantage point on the western coast of the country’s Providenciales island—shaped like a fishtail and embroidered on its edges with wave-cleaving limestone slabs—is uniquely beautiful. It’s rugged, gently windswept, and raw, with salt-air shrubbery that grows low, maximizing the views of the cyan sea. An ombré sun—which moves from lemony high-noon shine to red twilight burn—arcs over this bluff as if engineered by a lighting designer in a surfing movie. Later, I’ll hear Tiafoe say, bantering with a guest on the tennis court: “If I win a Slam, I’ll be staying here much longer.”

The tennis courts at Amanyara.Courtesy of Aman Resorts

Before we go, I ask Tiafoe where and when the nickname Big Foe—which is what he writes when he signs autographs—originated. “That was a funny group thing back in 2012, 2013,” he says. “We were talking about colleges and where I might go and what my nickname might be [in relation to] the school’s mascot. Someone said if I went to Georgia, I’d be a bulldog, and one of my friends was like, ‘They’ll call you Big Foe!’” (He barks this part.)

“It stuck. People all over call me that now,” he says. Then, with a big smile: “Big Foe is a lifestyle.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *