It’s been tough growing up in the shadow of his French Open-winning father, Andres Gomez, but 27-year-old Emilio Gomez raised the biggest trophy of his career on Sunday, cruising past American Tommy Paul 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the $80,000 Tallahassee Challenger, held at the Forestmeadows Tennis Complex in Tallahassee. Fla.
Gomez picked up the first ATP Challenger Tour singles title of his career after Paul was coming off a title at the Sarasota Open.
“I felt really good during the whole week and to come and play the final and play the best match of the whole week, it was just an amazing feeling,” Gomez told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I have worked so hard for this.”
The unseeded Gomez en route to the final upset No. 11 seed Mats Moraing of Germany, No. 6 Marc Poulman of Australia, No. 16 Nino Serdarusic of Croatia in three sets, and in the semifinals No. 3 Corentin Moutet of France in three sets. Paul, the No. 9 seed, beat seeds No. 7 Mitchell Krueger of the U.S. in three sets, No. 13 Mikael Torpegaard, and in the semifinals No. 2 Tennys Sandgren.
Gomez’s father won the French Open in 1990 and reached the world No. 1 ranking in doubles. In the 1990 French Open singles final, his only career Grand Slam championship round, he beat a 20-year-old Andre Agassi who was also appearing in his first slam final. Gomez would go on to rank a career-high No. 4 in singles.
The younger Gomez, who will now crack the Top 200 on the ATP rankings, with the Tallahassee title has won his 11th career ITF World Tour/USTA Pro Circuit title, and his second of 2019 after the Ecuador F1 Futures. Paul dropped to 8-5 career and 1-1 this year after beating Sandgren in the final of the Sarasota Open.
No. 4 Roberto Maytin of Venezuela and Fernando Romboli of Brazil won the doubles final, defeating Americans Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Noah Rubin 6-2, 4-6, 10-7.
The USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Sloane Stephens, Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka, and Sam Querrey are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.