Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the U.S. Davis Cup Team
Tommy Paul’s debut Davis Cup victory
“Dead” or “Live” doesn’t matter. The first Davis Cup victory is always special. While Tommy Paul’s debut win may be inconsequential, it’s one he’ll always remember. Unlike Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka, who made their Team USA debuts in Madrid during November’s Davis cup Finals; Tommy opened his Davis Cup career on home soil — in Hawaii of all places.
As if that weren’t enough, his victory over Denis Istomin was the final professional men’s tennis match played before the ATP Tour slammed the brakes on the 2020 season.
At the time, the novel coronavirus was in the early stages of becoming a global pandemic. Thousands had died in China. Italy’s outbreak was spiraling. The day following Tommy’s win, Indian Wells cancelled the BNP Paribas Open. Miami soon followed. Before long, the entire clay season was scrapped. And within 2-weeks, “social distancing” became the global norm, while markets tumbled and millions lost their jobs.
First meeting between Paul and Istomin
Tommy’s tremendous 2020
It had already been a defining season for the 22-year-old. As a qualifier in Adelaide, he started the season by winning 5 straight matches to reach the Semifinals. He won his first two Grand Slam main draw matches at the Australian Open. And a week before his Davis Cup triumph, Tommy earned his first career top-10 victory over Alexander Zverev in Acapulco. Only a worldwide pandemic could slow his surging momentum.
Tommy Paul -57- (USA) | Announcer Introduction
At 22-years-old, he comes into this weekend’s Qualifier with a career-high ranking of World #57. He started the new season in Adelaide as a qualifier ranked World #90. He won five consecutive matches to reach the Semifinals, then earned his first two Grand Slam main draw match victories at the Australian Open. Last week in Acapulco, he scored his first top-10 triumph, defeating World #7 Alexander Zverev to reach the Quarterfinals. Making his Team USA Davis Cup debut here in Honolulu – from the United States, Tommy Paul.
Denis Istomin -156- (UZB) | Announcer Introduction
At 33-years-old, he owns 2 ATP Tour Singles titles, 12 challenger titles – and last weekend, reached his 20th career Challenger Final at the Oracle Pro Series event in Columbus, Ohio. Ranked as high as World #33, 3-years-ago he earned the biggest win of his career at the Australian Open, defeating World #2 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the 2nd-Round. A proud recipient of the Davis Cup Commitment Award, this weekend he is competing in his 31st Davis Cup Tie for Uzbeksitan – and owns 50 Davis Cup victories over the course of his career. Here in Hawaii for the first time – from Uzbekistan, Denis Istomin.