Tommy Paul reveals career goals at Queen’s – as he moves within one win from rankings milestone

Tommy Paul is in the Queen's Club final.
Tommy Paul is into the final at the Queen's Club.

There have been few more impressive than Tommy Paul at Queen’s this week.

The fifth seed was the only seeded player left in the draw at the semi-final stage but until his quarter-final victory, he had largely snuck through the draw fairly quietly.

In his last eight encounter, he overturned his 1-3 head-to-head against Jack Draper to reach the last four, where he again turned around a negative head-to-head to beat Sebastian Korda 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

But this run has not come out of nowhere; this has now been the best year of the 27-year-old’s career, with success coming on all surfaces.

Before reaching the final on grass at Queen’s, Paul had reached finals on hard in Dallas and Delray Beach, winning the former, while progressing to the last four on clay at the Italian Open.

There is no one spectacular shot in his game – he simply does everything well, and a newfound aggressive mindset has turned him into a formidable force on the ATP Tour.

That has taken him to a career-high ranking of 12th, achieved late last year, which the world No 13 will return to tomorrow if he beats Lorenzo Musetti.

Tommy Paul keeps American flag flying at Queen’s – but Taylor Fritz misses huge opportunity

Tommy Paul: Rivalry with other US players is competitive – but fun

However, victory would see him move above Taylor Fritz and become US No 1 – and move him closer to his ultimate career goal; winning more titles, and cracking the top ten.

“I got to 12 in the world at some point last year. I want to get to 10. I want to be top 10. Then from there, we keep going,” he said.

“I said I wanted to win more tournaments this year, and I got one title this year, but that’s been the goal. I want to go home with trophies.

“I have an opportunity to do that tomorrow, so I’m definitely going to come out ready to play.

“We were talking about it this week with my team. Somebody pointed out last week on social media that I had 33 quarterfinals. We were: ‘That’s a pretty good number.’ Then we looked and I had 11 semi-finals.

“So it’s getting past those quarters and those semi-final matches, giving yourself an opportunity to win titles.

“This week I have done a pretty good job of that. With the match yesterday, it was a really good match.

“Later in the tournament, you play better players. That’s just the way it is. Getting through those matches is everything.”

Up next for Paul is a slight step into the unknown against Musetti, an opponent he has never faced off against before.

Seventeen spots above the Italian in the ATP Rankings, many would pinpoint the American as the favourite to lift the biggest title of his career come Sunday.

But, with Musetti’s guile and all-court game already holding off several big hitters this week, things may not be that straightforward.

Paul added: “He’s been playing great on the grass.

“Obviously a few years back he was, I’d say he probably first started getting good results on the clay, and his game adapted really, really well to the grass. He’s been playing awesome tennis.

“We have never played before, so that’s kind of rare on tour. But, I’m excited for it.”

Lorenzo Musetti: As Italian tennis players, we are living a dream