Tommy Paul beats Ben Shelton in all-American clash to reach Australian Open semifinals


Tommy Paul beat fellow American Ben Shelton in a hard-fought match on the Australian Open to succeed in the primary grand slam semifinal of his profession.

Few would have anticipated both of those males to succeed in the quarterfinal stage in Melbourne, however Paul’s expertise advised as he gained 7-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 to arrange a semifinal conflict towards both nine-time winner Novak Djokovic or world No. 6 Andrey Rublev.

Paul, at the moment ranked No. 35 on the planet, is now assured to climb into the world’s prime 20 for the primary time in his profession and turns into the primary American man to succeed in the final 4 of the Australian Open since Andy Roddick in 2009.

“That is my first time on this court docket [Rod Laver Arena], my first within the quarterfinals of a slam,” the 25-year-old Paul stated after the match. “Additionally it is Ben Shelton’s first time leaving the States, so I feel he’s had a reasonably good match as effectively.

“Making it to the second weekend of a slam is everybody’s dream once they begin enjoying tennis, so I can’t imagine I’m right here proper now.”

Shelton has been the revelation of this Australian Open.

The large-hitting lefty was enjoying in solely the second grand slam of his profession – the primary coming on the US Open on the finish of 2022 – and earlier than touring to New Zealand and Australia in preparation for the primary grand slam of the 12 months had by no means even been outdoors of the US.

The 20-year-old at the moment boasts a career-high rating – world No. 89 – and his performances up to now in Australia means he’ll now be ranked on the planet’s prime 50 come Monday.

Shelton gave a superb account of himself in Wednesday’s match, preventing again from a break right down to take the third set when it regarded as if Paul would stroll away with a straight units win.

Shelton additionally fired down 24 aces throughout the match, the quickest a booming 220 km/h, and 42 winners. Nonetheless, it was the dearth of consistency and unforced errors – 50 in comparison with Paul’s 26 – that helped his opponent come away with the win.

With compatriot Sebastian Korda additionally reaching the quarterfinals in Melbourne, it was the primary time since 2000 – when Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Chris Woodruff reached the final eight – that three US gamers have made the Australian Open’s quarterfinals.

The 2023 season was already trying like a promising one for American tennis – with Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff main the cost – however the emergence of Paul and Shelton as contenders to go deep in grand slams solely makes it all of the extra thrilling.