American Tommy Paul shocked world No. 3 Alexander Zverev with 6-2,4-6,7-6(2) victory in the BNP Paribas Open.
The thrilling encounter ended with a deciding tie-break, and it was Paul who raised his game to surge to a 6-1 lead, sealing the best win of his career on his second match point to the delight of the home crowd.
Paul has a good record in the desert against top players having beaten then World No. 5 Andrey Rublev in the event last year.
This was his fourth win over a top ten opponent including a straight sets win over Zverev on their only previous encounter in Acapulco in 2020.
“I never felt out of the match,” Paul said after the match “My gameplan in the tie-break was to play more aggressive than I did the whole match, and see if he comes up with the goods. When I come to the net, see if he comes up with big passing shots, and if he did that, then too good. That was my process.”
“I like playing here,” Paul added “I like the conditions. The fans really support [the American players] here, and that’s why we all love it. It feels like a real home tournament.”
Paul will next play Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the third round who won the all Aussie battle over John Millman