© Henk Koster

Tommy Paul hits 29 winners past Alexander Bublik on Thursday for a place in the Rotterdam quarter-finals.

Paul's Stunning Trick Shot & Closing On Top 50 Breakthrough

American through to first ATP 500 quarter-final for 12 months

Tommy Paul produced a terrific behind-the-back stunner at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Thursday as he booked his place in the quarter-finals.

With the American serving at 4-1 in the deciding set, a backhand from Alexander Bublik bounced off the net cord forcing a quick readjustment from Paul, who returned a behind-the-back shot with interest. Paul then moved forward quickly for a forehand winner en route to a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1 victory at the Rotterdam Ahoy.

“I am playing confidently, played a good level today and did well yesterday [against Lorenzo Sonego],” said Paul. “It’s nice to play matches back-to-back. I did a good job taking care of my serves and that put pressure on [Bublik’s] service games.”

The 23-year-old is through to the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event for the second time (also 2020 Acapulco) and could break into the Top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.

“It’s definitely a good result for me,” said World No. 56 Paul. “The Top 50 was my goal last year, and I didn’t quite get it ending 2020 at No. 54. I am definitely happy to keep my ranking moving up.”

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