NUGGETS

American tennis star wears Nuggets player’s jersey at Wimbledon

Jun 25, 2024, 11:52 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

Two Denver Nuggets fans were hanging out Tuesday, it just so happens they are the current No. 2 and No. 30th men’s tennis players in the world and they were laughing on the hallowed grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club ahead of Wimbledon.

Ahead of the tournament starting this weekend, Frances Tiafoe and Novak Djokovic were milling about Tuesday and the American men’s tennis star was wearing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s jersey, again! Tiafoe rocked a KCP uni last year during his U.S. Open run and the tennis standout seems to be a fan of the Nuggets shooting guard.

Tiafoe, 26, has reached No. 10 in the world and is known for his 2019 quarterfinal appearance in the Australian Open. But he really caught the sports world by storm in 2022 with an awesome performance at the US Open in Flushing Meadows in New York City. In that event, Tiafoe beat 14th seed Diego Schwartzman in the third round and then got the biggest win by an American tennis player in years with his fourth-round match. Tiafoe knocked off No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal to reach the quarterfinals, the first American to beat the great Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament since 2005. Then Tiafoe took down No. 9 seed Andrey Rublev, becoming the first American man to reach the semifinals in Flushing Meadows since 2006. His run came to an end against current world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz who beat him in a hard-fought five-set classic that lasted over four hours.

Along for that ride, last year was Caldwell-Pope’ who watched the match against Rublev with now Suns All-Star and former Washington teammate Bradley Beal. Tiafoe is from the DMV area and also has a connection with fellow local athlete Kevin Durant, who is also now on the Suns.

Tiafoe congratulated KCP on social media after the Nuggets won the title in 2023. He also referenced how honored he was that KCP wanted to see him play, saying in the past, “I was a kid who had an opportunity and dreamed massively big. Shouldn’t be doing any of these things, honestly. [I was] sneaking into this event, telling my parents I was going to be a pro at a super young age, against all odds, wearing hand-me-down clothes, holes in my shoes, cargo shorts. Guys like KD and [Kentavious] Caldwell-Pope and Gaff [Daniel Gafford] want to come see me play.”

KCP showed up again at the five-setter with Alcaraz. We don’t yet know Tiafoe’s path for this year’s Wimbledon but it could include Djokovic, who just dropped off the world No. 1 ranking after becoming the oldest to ever claim that title. The 37-year-old played some marathons in getting to the French Open semifinal but had to drop out due to an injury.

Djokovic hung out with the Nuggets in Los Angeles during his stint at Indian Wells earlier this spring. The Serbian is a friend of Nikola Jokic and the two took pictures with a bunch of Nuggets teammates and staff.

Tiafoe has struggled in 2024, with just a 13-14 record in his singles matches. While KCP has a few massive decisions ahead of him in the coming weeks, you know he’ll be spending his free time supporting a tennis star who supports him.

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