WATCH: Paul rallied from a set down to earn his first Top 2 win and first over a Big 3 player.


Tommy Paul pulled off the win of his life at the Rolex Paris Masters, rallying from a set down to defeat world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1—not only avenging an Acapulco defeat to the 22-time major champion but also culminating what has been a meteoric rise that began last November when he won his first ATP title in Stockholm.

The 2015 French Open junior champion, now 25, went on to compile a career-best season in 2022, reaching his first Grand Slam fourth round at Wimbledon, his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal in Toronto, and crack the Top 30. While this is his fifth Top 10 victory of the year, Nadal marks his first win over a "Big 3" player.

Paul checked in during a breakthrough US Open to share adventures on his family’s farm, style tips, and some insight into the state of U.S. men’s tennis. When you were competing in the juniors alongside Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka, were you all envisioning you would all one day be in the thick of it against the pros?

Tommy Paul: I think when we were 14 or whatever, we kind of thought we were going to college and maybe pro after that. We obviously wanted to be good, and then when we were 17 or 18, we realized we could be really good pro tennis players. But we never really talked about anything like that. We were just normal teenagers, not talking about tennis in our free time.

We came out for juniors and obviously you’re thinking, ‘I hope I get a cool court,’ or whatever. But we weren’t talking a lot of tennis, pretty much.

Of Paul's six career Top 10 victories, four have come against the Top 5—all of which have come in 2022.

Of Paul's six career Top 10 victories, four have come against the Top 5—all of which have come in 2022. With your and Frances’ success on top of what Taylor and Reilly have been able to accomplish, what do you make of the current state of U.S. men’s tennis?

TP: To be completely honest with you…obviously Fritz had a very successful year so far. He’s won a big tournament, but Indian Wells isn’t a Grand Slam. People say it’s the fifth Slam, but it’s not: it’s different. You’ve got to win seven matches, three out of five sets, and that’s a whole different thing.

I don’t think any of us are at that point right now. We’ve got to work hard and keep going. I don’t think there’s any reason one of us can’t get hot and make it deep and maybe win the tournament. But for us to really be at that level, I think all of us still have a lot of work to do. But I think we’re all excited to keep working and get there. How much time do you get to spend on your family’s farm?

TP: Honestly, not too much. It’s near Cherry Hill, South Jersey. Every year after the Open I go back there. They’re all working hard, so I’m not just going to sit in the house and watch them. It’s nice to get your hands dirty every once in a while.

Advertising How many animals do they have?

TP: My mom got a horse about a year ago, and there’s something like eight sheep, 100 chicken probably.

Last time I was there, they had hay barrels all around, and so I had to bring those in. I was on the bobcat pulling them in. So, did a landscaping company make your Mulch hat or is that a fashion brand?
TP: It’s one of my friend’s companies, Mulch California. They make custom clothes, and I love the hats. I always wear them.

He was like, ‘What’s it going to take for you to wear the Mulch hats all the time?’ I was like, ‘If you give me 15 in every color, I’ll wear them all the time!’