(August 31, 2015) 2015 French Open Junior champion Tommy Paul, earned a spot into the 2015 US Open through the qualifying tournament to make his first main draw of a major.
The 18-year-old who was born in New Jersey, but hails from Greenville, NC, lost on Monday to Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-0, 7-5. Paul had a 3-0 lead in the first set.
“Well I came out high on confidence, playing really well, hitting every ball pretty hard on top of the baseline, couldn’t really keep that up during the whole match.
“I said alright I’m going to stay on the baseline, hitting every ball as hard as I can, and then it started not going in. I didn’t think to back up and start playing more points.
“That’s what I tried to do after the second set, it was a little late.
“I was stepping back on his second serve, trying to move in on the first ball.”
After the second set, when his lost it 6-0, paul said to himself: “Just get one game”
“It was an unreal experience,” Paul said. “I mean I really always watched Seppi a lot when I was younger playing and really always liked his game a lot. It was awesome to draw him.”
Paul is set to play his final Junior major at the US Open, as he turned pro after the French Open.
“Home slam this is going to be my last junior tournament so I want to go out and do as well as I can and having fun while I’m doing it,” Paul said.
In a strange sort of way, Paul was inspired by Andy Roddick and his 2003 US Open outfit.
“I loved Roddick.” He was really young but he remembers when when Roddick won the 2003 US Open. “I had just started playing tennis then. He was in the top 10 for 10 years, I remember all of that.”
What he remembers most about Roddick winning the US Open? – His outfit. “And I wanted to dress just like him,” Paul said.
“Wow, that’s a crazy outfit” I remember him winning, at the place where I played at, I remember them buying a bunch of his Reebok clothes. I wanted all of it.
“It was crazy black and white things going across the chest, and the hat sort of like a trucker hat.”
“I met him at Wimbledon this year,” Paul said. “I got to hit with him a little bit. So cool. I got to talk to him and think he’s going to start helping us a little bit.”
“Was always a goal for me to turn pro,” he said. “I committed to (University of) Georgia, I really thought I was going to school until before the French Open. I went to some futures in Europe and I did pretty well there.
After the French, I said ‘now I’m going to do it’.
After the Juniors next week, Paul will be playing Challenger events.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News at the US Open