World No. 50 Tommy Paul admitted winning a maiden ATP title means "everything" to him.. On Saturday, Paul surprised No. 3 seed Shapovalov 6-4 2-6 6-4 in the Stockholm Open final to lift his maiden ATP crown. It was the first meeting between the two and Paul prevented Shapovalov from winning a second Stockholm title.
"I played some of my best tennis to beat Denis," said Paul, per the ATP website. "It's the most fun I've had playing a tennis tournament. It means everything to win my first title. I've worked so hard to achieve this and I'd like to break into the Top 30 at some point."
Paul didn't crush under pressure
Paul claimed the first break of the match in the fifth game and served out for the opener in the 10th game.
After losing the first set, Shapovalov bounced back well in the second set as he broke Paul twice to force a decider. In the third set, Paul saved two consecutive break points in tne eighth game before claiming the lone break of the decider in the following game.
A match earlier, Frances Tiafoe was serving for the match against Paul but the world No. 62 created a stunning comeback. “I haven’t got a win over Frances since juniors, so that was a big win for me,” said Paul after the Tiafoe win “That was the best level I’ve played all year long.
He was playing amazing tennis for the first two sets, and I played my highest level in the third set. “It wasn’t fun to be broken at 5-5 in the second set, again, but I knew if I stayed tough he may give me a couple of looks.
I tried to have fun, and I ended up playing my best tennis. The more matches I’ve played, the more comfortable I’ve played in pressure situations. I’ve enjoyed playing in front of the big crowds”.