I include the Nexus in this as well, as were hyping the future of American Tennis and focusing on Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton. Much of the rest of the media has too. There is no doubt those two have the family genetics, with professional tennis playing parents and resources to lean on. From our perspective that was intriguing along with more time on their side at their age of 22 and 20 years old to continue to improve and fulfill those expections . We’ve talked about the typical progression of players and usually peaking at 25.34 years old.
This may be Tommy Paul’s peak age at 25 years old, but it is possible to keep improving for a few more years, and that his best years are ahead of him. To reach this level. He’s already projected to crack the top 20 after the Australian at 19th in the rankings.
We also projected Tommy Paul to be a top 30 player 3 years from now months ago even though he is currently only ranked 35th.
Tommy Paul’s Forgotten Pedigree
Tommy Paul frequently placed among the top juniors in his class. On December 9, 2015, Paul attained a career-high ITF junior ranking of No. 3. In 2015, Paul advanced to two junior Grand Slam finals. He defeated fellow American Taylor Fritz in the French Open boys’ singles championship match in three sets. In the same tournament, he and fellow American William Blumberg advanced to the doubles final. He also advanced to the boys’ singles final at the 2015 US Open before falling to Fritz in three sets.
While junior success certainly doesn’t ensure professional success it’s certainly a good sign of talent if you can win Grand Slams as a junior or make it to finals. There is a long list of top ranked players who won boys grand slams that include John McEnroe, Stephen Edberg, Ivan Lendle, Mats Wilander, Pat Cash, Roger Feder, Andy Muarry, Andy Roddick, Stan Wawrinka, and others.
I guess at the age of 25 there had been enough years and distance from that to stall out the expectations he may have had in the immediate years after. Especially as he watched some of his rivals then like Taylor Fritz go on to crack the top 10 first. In reality, Paul is still having a nice career that just had gas poured on it this month. He also recently beat number 2 Rafael Nadal just three months ago for that signature career win. He’s a player that won big as a junior that should feel destined for this moment. That should serve him well as he tries to take down Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals next. He will probably need to draw on some of that history and confidence.
The progress has at times been slower and incremental. Paul is certainly making his presence known big time now. I think we all need to take a second look at Tommy Paul who will join American Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe in the top 20 after the Australians win or lose.