After a dramatic day one, day two of the Davis Cup lived up to its billing, especially the matchup between the United States and Great Britain.

Let’s dive into some observations:

The Summer of Tommy Paul

First, let me start by saying the Tommy Paul-Dan Evans match on Wednesday was absolutely sensational. The shot making and rallies were tremendous, and the energy level and grit was top notch.

While Paul ended up winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 — and getting payback after losing a three-set match at Cincinnati to the Brit earlier this summer — Evans shouldn’t hang his head because he too put on a great performance.

But where Paul’s career currently stands is the bigger storyline.

In my US Open observations, I talked about the upside of American tennis, and how fans should be very excited about where the country currently stands in the sport. A big part of that is Taylor Fritz — as well as Frances Tiafoe’s run at the US Open — but Paul shouldn’t be discounted on the totem pole of U.S. players.

Since joining forces with coach Brad Stine in 2020, Paul has slowly taken steps forward in his career. But this season — and this summer in particular — we’ve seen a full breakthrough from the American.

The 25-year-old reached the Round of 16 at Wimbledon, beat Carlos Alcaraz and Marin Cilic in Montreal and took Casper Ruud to five sets in the third round of the US Open.

Most importantly, he reached a career-high ranking of 29 this month and was seeded in New York.

We already know about Paul’s athleticism and terrific groundstrokes, but his game plans and tactics are much improved. His net game, in particular, was on full display vs. Evans on Wednesday, which is something he’s built consistently into his game this year.

He also served impressively in the third set against Evans. Unlike his net game, that is not something Paul has been able to do consistently in 2022. If he can somehow serve at that level from now on — and also become much better in clutch spots — that will help him take an even bigger step up the rankings.

All in all though, the win over Evans gives Paul another bolt of confidence moving forward.

Match of the Day? Norrie vs. Fritz

While Evans vs. Paul was incredible, Cameron Norrie vs. Fritz was the most intriguing match of the day.

Fritz looked like he was going to runaway with this match after the first set, as his two-handed backhand looked crisp and his serve was untouchable.

But as Norrie typically does, he bounced back with his stamina and mental toughness. The Brit won a second-set tiebreaker before finishing off a couple of breaks to win 7-5 in the third.

It’s hard to fault Fritz in this spot, as the crowd was a major factor on Norrie’s side. This was just a battle between two top players that ultimately the smallest of difference — the crowd and Norrie’s composure — gave the Brit the victory.

The Brit will never be flashy or a fan favorite (at least across the globe), but he’s incredibly consistent (44-20 record this season) and is never truly out of a match.

Meanwhile, Fritz is a little bit shaken right now. Many pegged the American as a darkhorse contender at the US Open before he went on to lose in the opening round in four sets to Brandon Holt, who had never won an ATP-level match.

Today, Fritz was holding his head down after blowing a one-set lead.

Maybe the pressure got to him in both situations, but Fritz didn’t play poorly in this particular match. And for that reason, I think his 35-15 overall season record and two titles in 2022 overshadow these last three weeks.

Ultimately, that was an awesome match to end the day’s singles slate with.

  • What a weird match between Benjamin Bonzi and Jan-Lennard Struff. The third set consisted of five breaks, and Bonzi blowing two match points and a 3-1 lead. Struff’s final service game at 6-5 was also stressful, as the German needed four match points and held off two break points to finally earn the point for his country. When Struff is serving well, he is far from an easy out, despite his current ranking of 132.
  • Was Borna Coric’s week in Cincinnati just lightning in the bottle? I would still say no based on who he beat that week and how. He beat four top-20 players and won five of his six victories in straight sets. That’s pretty damn impressive, especially upsetting Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Let’s also remember that Coric was previously in the top 15 in the world before injuries deterred his career. However, Coric’s results since that title in Cincy have been odd. He struggled in the opening round of the US Open against Enzo Couacaud, was handled pretty easily by Jenson Brooksby in Round 2 and blew a lead against Matteo Berrettini on Wednesday in the Davis Cup. I think Coric is here to stay if he’s healthy, but he’ll have to perform a lot better than he has over the last three weeks if he wants to prove that to everyone.
  • The crowds in Valencia and Glasgow seemed like awesome atmospheres. That’s great to see at an event like this.

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