The road to the top for Tommy Paul, as with countryman Stefan Kozlov, has had potholes.
But the former junior world No. 3 (he beat Taylor Fritz in the 2015 junior French Open final and lost to him at the US Open final) is back.
Paul won his first career Challenger title Sunday in Charlottesville.
Battling knee tendonitis, he went from a lucky loser to a champion. He moved up 55 spots in the rankings, to No. 222.
The 21-year-old missed half the season with an elbow injury. The goal now is to make the Australian Open qualifying cutoff.