Frances Tiafoe is the tennis star to watch right now. Not just because he’s one of the best players on the planet, but because he knows how to give the fans a show. In the semifinals of the 2022 U.S. Open, Tiafoe’s match against Carlos Alcaraz went on for an arduous four hours—a marathon stretch that kept spectators (including former first lady Michelle Obama) glued to their seats. Tiafoe might’ve lost the match, but is it really losing if you beat out Rafael Nadal—becoming the first American to defeat the powerful Spaniard at a Major in close to two decades—to get there? We think not.
So it wasn’t a surprise that the 24-year-old tennis sensation was in a jovial mood when he sat down with us for the latest episode of GQ’s 10 Essentials, running through the things he can’t live without as breezily as he dispatches early-round opponents.
If you want to play like Tiafoe (or at least look like you do), the racket you’ll need is Yonex’s VCORE Pro 97, which he’s been using since 2017. Tiafoe gives props to the racket’s flexibility—its power and finesse, he says, “put the money in the bank account.” Tiafoe’s prone to sweating (like, a lot), sometimes cycling through a dozen or so shirts in a single match. To help beat back the perspiration, he relies on Nike’s Dri-Fit ADV Slam set, cut from a breathable, sweat-wicking poly blend—though if you’re anything like Tiafoe you might want to buy a couple.
Off the court, Tiafoe’s a huge fan of Jordans, especially the 1s, mostly in colorways you can only get if you’re willing to pay an extortionary premium on the aftermarket. Another buzzy collectible the man can’t live without? Supreme’s wireless Mophie charger; when he’s not playing tennis, he’s on his phone constantly. (You might be more alike than you realized!)
But if there’s only one takeaway to be had from the entire charming segment, it’s this: you really need to start moisturizing. After Tiafoe towels off, he likes to lather himself with Jergens’ ultra-healing version because he “can’t be ashy out here.” Told you so.