Tommy Paul advanced to his first grass-court tour-level quarter-final on Thursday when he knocked out former world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 in a dominating performance at the Cinch Championships.
The American backed up his first-round victory over sixth seed Denis Shapovalov with another solid display on the lawns of London on his debut at the ATP 500 event. The world No. 35 took time to Wawrinka taking the ball early on the return, as he saved all five break points he had to face to advance after 65 minutes.
“This week is my first main draw wins on grass. If you had asked me two years ago, I would have said grass was my worst surface. But when I started working with my trainer brad [Stine], he said the grass would end up being my best surface and I tried to shape my game on that,” Paul said. “I feel very comfortable there, hopefully if not this year but next it will be my best surface.
“I feel like I’m serving and stealing well, but every time I went to do it today I missed my first serve so I didn’t have many chances. I saw Tim Henman all on time and he’s one of my favorites because of the style of tennis he played and I was like, ‘sorry for all those volleys I missed’ I like to come to the net and rush people on the grass.
Paul, who had never won a tour-level match on grass before this week, has now tied his ATP Head2Head streak against Wawrinka at 1-1 and will next face defending champion Matteo Berrettini or American Denis Kudla.
“Getting that win on Wednesday [against Shapovalov] was a great confidence booster. I went out here today [and] played very well from the start and I relaxed a bit and everything became a bit easier,” added Paul.
Earlier this season, the 25-year-old reached the semi-finals on hard courts at Delray Beach in February, as he advanced to the last eight at two tournaments in Adelaide and one in Acapulco.
Wawrinka was on his eighth appearance for the Queen’s Club, with his best semi-final result coming in 2014. The 37-year-old participate in Wimbledon later this month after receiving a wild card.