25-year-old American Tommy Paul has defeated world #4 Carlos Alcaraz 6-7(4) 7-6(7) 6-3 in the second round of the Masters 1000 National Bank Open in Montreal. Alcaraz is the second highest-ranked opponent Paul has ever beaten after he bested world #3 Alexander Zverev earlier this year at Indian Wells. Paul has beaten four top-ten opponents over the past ten months.
The American won this match coming from a set and 4-1 down to oust one of the most in-form players in the world. This match was an exciting one, all 3 hours and 24 minutes of it. Neither player was willing to give an inch, resulting in very long rallies all the way down to the last point. Paul enjoys playing these gruelling matches, almost relishing in running his opponent across the court.
The long rallies give us fans some incredible theatre, including one of the points of the tournament late in the first set.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 10, 2022
After choking away four match points at 5-2 in the third, it was great to see Paul bear down on his own serve and close out the match. This certainly shows growth for a player who has top-15 aspirations. Currently ranked #34 in the world, and the fifth highest American on tour, Paul has had a career year in 2022 that saw him earn a seed at both the French Open and Wimbledon. He holds a 27-19 record this season with seven quarterfinal appearances.
The New Jersey native does not play the same ‘big serve, big forehand’ style of tennis that the best Americans have become known for. Or at least, there is certainly more to his game than just a big serve and forehand. Standing at 6’1″, Paul uses his consistency and world-class athleticism to break down opponents. He is solid off of both wings, with a two-handed backhand up the line that can hurt any player on tour.
The aforementioned world-class athleticism cannot be understated, however. The American moves so freely on-court, forcing his opponents to graze lines to end rallies. His reflexes are top-notch and he is not afraid to play gruelling, back-and-forth points.
When watching a Tommy Paul match, I can guarantee you will have a few ‘hop off your couch’ moments including this point in the first round against Vasek Pospisil.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 9, 2022
Paul awaits the winner of Marin Cilic and Karen Khachanov and is sitting in a draw with Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz. Nothing will come easy at this Masters event, but Paul certainly has the form and the confidence to make some noise.
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