Tommy Paul expects to face the wrath of Carlos Alcaraz

Tommy Paul is one of several Americans on the ATP Tour.
Tommy Paul is through to the last eight at Queen's.

Ahead of a second meeting with Carlos Alcaraz in as many weeks, the confidence of Tommy Paul has been tempered despite his win over the world No 1 in Toronto.

Paul feels that after he eliminated Alcaraz from the Canadian Open for the second year running, he will now be set to face a highly motivated player in Ohio.

Having noted that his previous win over Alcaraz gave him confidence in Toronto, it seems he was less assured heading into their fourth career clash.

“It helps a little bit, but at the same time, it probably doesn’t hurt him,” Paul told reporters.

“He probably feels less pressure this week to play me than he did last week. So I think it’s going to be a very, very tricky and tough match. But I’m really looking forward to this.”

Paul admitted that he would have to come up with a new gameplan to face the world No 1, who will be out to secure a top seeding for his defence of the US Open crown with a deep run in Cincy.

“You can’t do the same exact thing in any given match. I didn’t do the same thing for the whole match last time I played him and I’m not going to do the same thing tomorrow that I did last week. And same for him,” Paul said.

“He’s not going to do the same exact thing. He’s going to probably look to change things up more than I am. But at the same time, with me and him I really do feel like it’s about who starts the point on offence more often.”

Paul is still relishing the prospect of another clash with a top player especially given how energised he feels when he faces Alcaraz.

“He’s obviously an unbelievable player,” Paul said. “But when I play him, it’s just like there’s more energy around the match and it’s more exciting and I’m more excited to play those matches. So I have a lot of fun playing those matches.”

Paul could help himself secure a big rankings bump of his own in Cincinnati as he stands on the brink of the top ten but he insisted that rankings aren’t his focus.

“I think everyone else pays attention to it a lot more than I do. It’s hard to not hear it. Like when I first showed up here, I see Frances and he’s in the locker room like, ‘Man, if anyone’s going to bump me out of the Top 10, I wanted it to be you,’” Paul said.

“I was like, ‘Dude, I wasn’t even thinking about that.’ Like when I was playing [Jannik] Sinner. I had to beat Sinner [in the Toronto semi-finals] and then win another match to get Top 10. I’m not really thinking about it too much.

“I’m 13. I still have to get to 12 and then 11 and then 10. So I’m worried about getting to 12 right now, and I’m worried about winning my match tomorrow.”

Alacaraz and Paul will square off in Ohio from no earlier than 19:20 (BST).

READ MORE: Daniil Medvedev ‘not comfortable’ in victory over Lorenzo Musetti