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Did a close shave earn Tommy Paul his smooth upset over Carlos Alcaraz in Montréal?
The surging American credited a text from mom for his clean presentation and even cleaner win over the No. 2 seed, earning him a third Top 10 win of the season at the Omnium Banque Nationale.
Published Aug 10, 2022
WATCH: Tommy Paul visits the Tennis Channel Live Desk after his second-round win at the Omnium Banque Nationale.
Tennis players are notoriously superstitious, but might a change of routine helped Tommy Paul earn a bracket-busting win over No. 2 seed Carlos Alcaraz at the Omnium Banque Nationale?
Paul was at the tail end of a visit to Montréal’s Tennis Channel Live Desk following his 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-3—saving one match point in the second set tiebreaker—when anchor Prakash Amritraj pointed out the stark absence of the beard he was sporting during his first round against Vasek Pospisil.
“Usually when things are going great for a player at a tournament, they don’t change anything,” explained Amritraj, who compared a bearded Paul to Liam Hemsworth in The Expendables.
“I usually keep the play-off beard all the way through the end of a tournament, even through the end of the whole swing,” Paul agreed. “But my mom has actually been on my ass about it. Last night, she was telling me to shave the beard, so I did it for her.
“That’s why, at the end of the match, I signed ‘Hey mom!’ on the lens!”
Beard or no beard, Paul has been looking tougher to beat in 2022, parlaying a second week appearance at his first-ever Wimbledon main draw into his third Top 10 win over the season, having already scored victories against Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev in Acapulco and Indian Wells, respectively.
“I mean, it's hard not to wake up for the primetime matches like that,” Paul said in his post-match press conference. “When I play, like, top-level people, Top 5, Top 10, I'm really excited, you know? Like when I wake up in the morning, the alarm is not as bad as the normal 6:45 alarm!
“Yeah, I was pumped, ready to go today. I was fired up. I knew that with him, like, I would have to play a high level of tennis. I mean, I just tried to prepare for that.”
No word on whether the beard will be back in time for his third round encounter with No. 13 seed Marin Cilic on Thursday, but it might be time to add a shave to that pre-match preparation