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Tommy Paul opens up about his love for tennis in Florida

Tommy Paul opens up about his love for tennis in Florida

Inside the ATP Top 20, there are three Americans at the Delray Beach Open who all happen to live in South Florida. Taylor Fritz: Miami. Francis Tiafoe: Boca Raton. Tommy Paul: Boca Raton. So why is Florida so popular for pro tennis players?

Florida Tennis got a chance to sit down with Tommy Paul and he was absolutely effusive in his praise for the tennis scene in the Sunshine State. 

"There's no secret why all players love practicing down here. Obviously, where the players go is kind of where the hub is going to be and I love it," Tommy told Florida Tennis.

Photo: Andrew Patron /  Delray Beach Open.

Nevertheless, Tommy still has good memories from his younger years in North Carolina. But when asked about living in Florida, he explains, "I've grown to absolutely love it. Like I don't think I'll ever leave South Florida. I think it has a lot to do with the weather. We can play here year-round outside and there's nowhere in the [United] States that's better for training... South Florida is absolutely the spot for it."

"I've been in West Boca for so long since I was 14. We had such a good group of players to train with. That was the main thing that got me down here and then I really just started loving the area," Tommy explained. He told me that he spent the last few years living in Boca Raton with former DBO champ Reilly Opelka as his roommate but recently decided to move.

"Last year I finally decided to get my own place. And I was basically looking nonstop for a year. Then I found a place," explains Tommy.

Photo: Andrew Patron /  Delray Beach Open.

And, apparently, his new home is located in the ideal location. It turns out that Tommy trains at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton. "And I mean, everything is just super convenient. Obviously, there's quite a few airports that we can fly in and out of. That's pretty important in our job... and I mean, I couldn't live somewhere that didn't have the ocean. I love the ocean."

Did Tommy's life radically change since he had a starring role in the new Netflix Break Point series? "Not really, I mean, I'm not very famous, you know. I'm here and it's like one of the tennis capitals in the United States — South Florida — and I could pretty much walk anywhere and I don't get recognized," he laughed.

Could playing here on his hometown turf turn out to be an advantage? Does all his love for the tennis scene in South Florida mean that Tommy Paul just might win the Delray Beach Open this year? I was curious about his mindset going into the tournament this year.

Photo: Andrew Patron /  Delray Beach Open.

Keep in mind: Tommy Paul just defeated Marcos Giron 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3 to lift the Dallas Open trophy on Sunday. "That was a pretty unbelievable match," Tommy told "Best final I’ve ever played."

So Tommy's got the wind at his back. He's coming into this tournament with real momentum. He told me, "I'm just excited. Obviously, I've lived down here for a while so I have quite a few friends that want to come watch me play. So I'm excited to play in front of them and hopefully give them something to cheer for." 

He paused, thought for a moment, and added, "I'm just super-excited." 

Indeed. So are tennis fans all over Florida.


Written by Florida Tennis' Executive Editor and Publisher Matt Pressman. Top photo: Andrew Patron /  Delray Beach Open.

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