Tommy Paul holds off Lorenzo Musetti to win Queen's Club title

Tommy Paul holds off Lorenzo Musetti to win Queen's Club title

Tommy Paul became the first American winner at Queen’s Club since 2010 with a 6-1, 7-6 victory over Lorenzo Musetti.

Neither were expected finalists at the start of these Cinch Championships nor necessarily who home fans wanted to witness in Sunday’s final.

But Paul had barely put a foot wrong all week, the vanquisher of Britain’s Jack Draper earlier in the week a day after Draper had so brilliantly despatched Carlos Alcaraz.

The final looked to be plain sailing for the 27-year-old until serving for the match at 5-4 and he became tentative while Musetti raised the bar with some swashbuckling tennis.

The match looked set to go to a deciding set when the Italian raced into a 4-1 lead in the subsequent tiebreak but Paul held his nerve to win with his third match point.

Afterwards, Paul, who joins the likes of rellow Americans John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras as Queen’s champions, said: “Going through the hallways in here, the names that are on the wall are unbelievable. It was my goal to put my name up there. I’m happy to get the win today.”

For Paul, who pocketed £356,000 for the title and will become American No1 when the rankings are revised, it sees him head to Wimbledon among the contenders after a strong week. As he put it, “This is the perfect way to go to Wimbledon.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Musetti, the latest on the conveyor belt of Italian tennis talent, has been one of the star attractions of the tournament all week but struggled to find his rhythm early on or to read the incredible versatility of his opponent’s serve.

But the 22-year-old produced tennis to emulate his idol Roger Federer, unleashing a not-too-dissimilar backhand to put the pressure back on Paul when he looked to be cruising to the title.

In the end, he admitted Paul was the deserving winner after keeping his cool as Musetti threatened a full-on fightback.

Musetti, who dedicated the win to his son Ludovico, who was born just three months ago, said: “Definitely one of the nicest weeks of my career so far. I want to congratulate Tommy. He deserved to win.”