Player Features

Food Court: Is Paul the least fussy eater on Tour?

American lists steak as his favourite food
May 15, 2024
Tommy Paul is open to eating most foods... but prefers to avoid mustard.
ATP Tour
Tommy Paul is open to eating most foods... but prefers to avoid mustard. By ATP Staff

When it comes to food, Tommy Paul is as easy-going as they come.

The American, who takes on Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Thursday in Rome, does not claim to be a master chef. He has developed some skills when it comes to cooking steak, but is otherwise open to ‘kind of eating whatever’ (except mustard) as he travels the world on the ATP Tour.

In this edition of Food Court, Paul tells about his eating habits around a match, as well as his guilty pleasure, which he may well be enjoying as he competes at the ATP Masters 1000 in the Italian capital.

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You’re having friends and family round for dinner, what would you be cooking for them?
Steak. That’s just my go-to. It’s kind of easy and pretty much the only thing I know how to cook.

How would you cook it?
Medium-rare, absolutely.

How would you rate your cooking skills? Are they OK or do you need to improve a little bit?
I can cook a good steak. But overall, not good. Not good.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Probably tiramisu.

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What is your go-to meal the night before a match?
I don’t really have a go-to. [A couple of weeks ago I had] Mexican, but I usually don’t go Mexican before a match! [The next night I went] for sushi, so I mix it up.

What is the last thing you would eat before going out to play a match, and how long before the match would you eat?
Probably two hours or 90 minutes before a match. Right after warm up I would come in, shower, and go get some food. I eat whatever the tournament has set up. A lot of the time it is pasta, if it is later in the day. If it’s earlier in the day I just try and get down whatever I can, whether it’s chicken and rice or something else.

During a match, what might you eat?
I don’t even like bananas, but I eat them when I play. Sometimes the bananas are awful. We’ve got to figure that one out!

What is something you might eat during a non-tournament week that you wouldn’t normally eat during a tournament week?
I don’t change too much in a tournament week. Nothing changes, really.

What is something people might be surprised to hear you enjoy eating?
I don’t think anything would surprise anybody. Everybody knows I just kind of eat whatever!

Is there anything you refuse to eat?
I don’t like mustard. That’s about it.

Do you have a favourite restaurant, and when you go there what do you order?
My favourite restaurant is Cote in Miami. It’s like a Korean barbecue steakhouse. I just get the Omakase and they bring out everything.

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