May/19

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Tommy Paul’s Resurgence Inspired By Former WTA Pro?

Paul WMQ16 (9) (27595935983).jpg

 

By Scoop Malinowski

Tommy Paul has surged back into ATP relevance by winning the Sarasota Challenger and reaching the finals in Tallahasse. Those two results will catapult the 21-year-old Paul into the French Open via the USTA Pro Circuit wildcard he wrapped up because of his multiple match wins in those two Challengers.

Paul missed a lot of time due to injury – taking two months off after Australia – his latest hiatus, but now he’s healthy again and looking sensational on court, showing an arsenal of power, defense, big serving, focus, and smart play.

I noticed former top 30 pro Ann Grossman at each of Paul’s matches in Sarasota, though she was not sitting with his current coach Diego Moyano.

I spoke with Grossman, who reached the fourth round at US Open and French Open in the 90s and posted career wins vs Martina Navratilova and Mary Joe Fernandez, about her unofficial involvement in Paul’s career.

Question: Your thoughts on Tommy Paul’s matches here in Sarasota? He was sensational all week especially in this final vs Tennys Sandgren (Paul won 63 64). Your involved? How so?

Ann Grossman: “I think Tommy Paul has amazing talent. I’ve been through certain situations, sometimes the same situations as him and I can relate to him. And I think he’s beginning to understand what he can do, what he can achieve. Just maybe pushing him a little bit, making good choices.”

Question: What in common? Injury setbacks?

Ann Grossman: No, just growing up. Like being a young American player. And just going through all the situations. And then playing professional tennis. I played for eleven years (1987 to 1998). I was one of the top Americans. I just know the feeling, I know what it’s like. And trying to help him yeah.”

Question: How did you connect with Tommy?

Ann Grossman: “Actually I coach Francesca Di Lorenzo on the WTA Tour. I started with her when she was ten years old. I was at Newport Beach, California, at the Oracle. And then I went to a friend’s house and Tommy was staying there. And I actually ended up staying there as well. Because my flight was out of LAX. And we went to dinner. I was just talking. I was just like being myself. And kind of letting it all out. I’d never met him before. And he said, ‘I want YOU as my coach.’ Anyway, that’s kind of how it started. We just have kept in contact. And been helping him with a few things technically.”

Question: Such as what, technically?

Ann Grossman: “A little bit on his serve. So I sent him video. I took video of him.”

Question: You see some big potential with Tommy?

Ann Grossman: “Unbelievable. I think he’s probably the most talented American out there, in my opinion.”

Question: What does he need to strengthen, to fulfill that potential?

Ann Grossman: “I think a clear path on what his goals are. You have to have that path. Know exactly what you want. And then you gotta get there. He has to have a plan.”

Question: It’s a very good start here winning the Sarasota Challenger.

Ann Grossman: Thank you, thank you.

Just at that moment, Tommy Paul came over to thank or accept congratulations from Grossman, after and separately from coach Moyano, who did not interact with Grossman all week or sit with her during matches. They actually sat as far apart as possible, on opposite sides of the court and opposite baselines.

Paul is still alive at the Savannah Challenger this week, playing today in the round of 16. He is currently ranked in the top 150 range. Paul won the 2015 French Open boys singles final and also played in the 2015 US Open boys singles final. His career high ranking is 147 in January. He turns 22 on May 17.

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2 comments

  • catherine · May 2, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Coaches – Sloane Stephens and Sven Groeneveld. Sloane seems serious.

    Bianca A out of Madrid and probably not playing until RG.

  • Jg · May 3, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Unless Tommy Paul draws a top seed, he can do a Brian Baker this year, is there any better US player on clay right now?

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