ATP Tour Official Tournament

Paul, Fritz to clash in Delray Beach final

18 February 2024 By ATP Staff
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Tommy Paul’s red-hot February continued apace Saturday at the Delray Beach Open.

The third seed notched his seventh victory in the space of 11 days by easing past his friend and countryman Frances Tiafoe 6-2, 6-2 at the hard-court ATP 250 in Florida. Paul converted all four break points he earned in a dominant display to improve to 3-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with the World No. 15.

“I feel like I came out playing really well from the jump and I was able to maintain my level throughout the whole match,” said Paul in his on-court interview. “That’s obviously super difficult with a guy as talented as Frances is. He can change the match so quickly, so that was the goal, to keep my momentum going throughout the whole match and I think I did a pretty good job.”

The No. 14 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Paul lifted his second ATP Tour crown last week indoors at the Dallas Open. Now into a championship-match clash against top seed Taylor Fritz or Marcos Giron, the 26-year-old acknowledged that he can feel momentum building as he chases an eighth consecutive win on home soil.

“Maybe [it gives me] a little more confidence to go after those shots on break point or deuce points, that always helps,” said Paul. “Confidence is huge in this sport and obviously I’m playing well right now. Today I think I played one of the best matches of the year, if not the past two years, because I didn’t miss too many balls today.”

Paul will chase his second title in as many weeks in Sunday’s final against top seed Taylor Fritz, who became the first player to reach back-to-back Delray Beach finals since James Blake in 2007-08 after defeating fellow American Marcos Giron 7-6(8), 6-2.

Fritz improved to 4-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Giron, who was coming off a runner-up finish in Dallas and who is at a career-high No. 44 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

Fritz fired 10 aces and also kept Giron under pressure on his own serve by carving out 15 break point opportunities, of which he converted four.

"I was playing well in the first but missed some chances later in the set, although he played the big points well,” Fritz said. “I tried to not let that bother me and I came back and kept playing well and didn't get frustrated."

Fritz and Paul are locked at 2-2 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, with Paul taking their most recent clash in a third-set tie-break almost one year ago in Acapulco.