Tommy Paul: Up-and-coming Americans are out to get what Taylor Fritz has
Tommy Paul has let it be known that a collection of young Americans are all out to be their country’s No 1 ranked man.
Paul said that he knows that Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda are just as ambitious as he is and all of them want to be the top guy.
Having recently surged up to No 19, Paul is one of three Americans in the Top 20 players in the world.
Korda could move up to 25th next week despite being absent from the tour since the Australian Open.
Paul believes that there are plenty of players willing to push for Fritz’s top ranking.
“Obviously, me, Frances [Tiafoe], Sebi [Korda], all the Americans, we want to be where he’s at and we want to take that spot from him,” Paul said in an interview with bnpparibasopen.com.
“That’s what we want. That’s where we want to be.”
Paul and Fritz have known each other for a long time having come through the ranks together and at one stage sharing a residence.
However, Paul has found success on the tour has taken longer to achieve but his recent run to the Australian Open semi-finals suggests he has more to come in his future.
“I think it’s been slow and steady on the rise, and I think every year I’ve gotten better,” he told reporters at Indian Wells.
“I have fixed a couple of things that I didn’t like in my game, and made a couple of things better.
“I think playing a lot more big matches last year – I played, I don’t know, like 10 quarterfinal matches last year, and a few of them were Masters 1000s,” Paul added.
“I mean, those are big matches, and I didn’t get through those last year but just having that experience really helps going into this year.”
Paul took a lot from his run in Melbourne and hopes to use the experience as a springboard.
“Obviously I’m pretty happy with the way I played in Australia and the result,” Paul said.
“But I looked at it like, ‘All right, my last match in Australia, I got absolutely pummeled,’ and I was not happy about that match. I left Australia ultimately thinking” ‘All right, what do I need to do to win that match next time or play better in that match?’”
His ambitions aside, Paul likes to think that he stays grounded.
“I don’t want my head to get big,” he said.
“I try and like not get too confident. I think overconfidence is almost worse than no confidence. I’ve been told that since a young age. It’s important to have that happy medium of being confident when you need to be confident, and being humble when you need to be humble.”
Paul faces Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Indian Wells Round of 16 late on Tuesday while Taylor Fritz is in action earlier when he takes on Márton Fucsovics for a place in the quarter-finals.
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