Tennis: Paul warms up for Wimbledon with Queen's final victory

AFP , Sunday 23 Jun 2024

Tommy Paul added his name to a list of American tennis greats in winning the Queen's Club tennis title after defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-1, 7-6 (10/8) in Sunday's final.

Tommy Paul
United States Tommy Paul celebrates after defeating Italy s Lorenzo Musetti during their men s singles final match at The Queen s Club tennis tournament, in London, Sunday, June 23, 2024. AP

Victory gave the fifth-seeded American his third ATP tour title -- and biggest success of his career -- after he won in straight sets after 88 minutes on court in London.

Paul became the first United States player to win the prestigious Wimbledon warm-up tournament since Sam Querrey in 2010 as he joined a group of former American champions at Queen's, including John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras -- who all won Wimbledon as well.

"It means everything," said Paul, who knocked out Britain's Jack Draper in the quarter-finals.

"Going through the hallways here in the locker room and the names on the wall, it's unbelievable. It was my goal always to put my name next to them."

The world number 13 will also overtake compatriot Taylor Fritz to become the new American number one, with Wimbledon starting on July 1.

Paul raced through the first set before Italian opponent Musetti worked his way back into the match.

The 27-year-old Paul failed to serve out the match at 5-4 up in the second set before coming back from 1-4 down in the tie-break and saving a set-point at 6-7.

Musetti saved two match points behind his own serve before Paul took the third to secure the title.

"This was definitely one of the nicest weeks of my career so far," said Musetti.

"Congratulations to Tommy, he deserved to win. I was struggling to get to his level. I saved face a bit at the end with the break. I was fighting really hard to get to the third set."

The 22-year-old, who became a father to his first child in March, added: "I want to dedicate this week to my little boy Ludovico. I just want to go back and hug him."

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