For the second week in a row, Tommy Paul has beaten a top seed en route to an TUSEN quarter-final on grass. After beating Denis Shapovalov and Stan Wawrinka to reach that stage at the Cinch Championships, he faced second seed Jannik Sinner on Wednesday at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne.
The American’s 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win robbed Sinner of his first career victory on grass. The Italian was playing his first match since retiring midway through his Roland Garros fourth round match against Andrey Rublev with a knee injury.
“I’m excited to be on the grass right now,” Paul said after the game. “Honestly, I think it suits my game.”
A break decided each set, with the American erasing three break points in the decider’s opener for a crucial hold. He didn’t face another break point in the game and used solid returns and deep, consistent strikes to give the game a chance to serve at 5-3.
“I came out strong and focused from the start of the game,” Paul assessed. “He had a good break on me in the second set and that’s what got us into the third. That’s what it was, just a few little dots here and there.”
This was the duo’s second ATP Head2Head meeting, with their previous meeting last month at the Mutua Madrid Open a 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-3 victory for Sinner.
“I knew it was going to be a battle with Jannik,” Paul said. “We’ve only played once before, but it was a war. You’ll never have an easy game against a guy like that.”
He will seek his first victory over Alex de Minaur in the quarter-finals. The Aussie won a pair of close contests in straight sets against him at the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Rome this season.
Joining Paul in the quarter-finals is fellow countryman Taylor Fritz, who he teamed up with to reach the doubles semi-finals last week at Queen’s Club. The third seed from Eastbourne scored a 7-5, 6-3 decision against Thiago Monteiro.
The defending Indian Wells champion picked up his first grass-court win of the 2022 season on his third attempt, getting back on track after upset defeats to Tim van Rijthoven at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Jack Draper at Queen’s Club .
Fritz, who saved a pair of break points early in the game, was in fine form on serve, winning 88% (29/33) of his first-serve points.
Maxime Cressy made three Americans in the last eight with a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over local favorite Daniel Evans. The 25-year-old hit 12 aces and saved seven of eight break points in the nearly two-hour win.