American Tommy Paul is into FIRST Grand Slam semi-final after beating countryman Ben Shelton at the Australian Open… as Novak Djokovic or Andrey Rublev await in next match
Tommy Paul is not the highest profile among the surge of Americans at the Australian Open, but he is the last left standing after ending the surprise run of 20 year-old Ben Shelton.
Having never made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam before, the 25 year-old from North Carolina is into the last four and was left awaiting the winner of Novak Djokovic against Andrey Rublev when he stopped Shelton in the quarter finals.
He defeated Shelton on a steamy afternoon at Melbourne Park 7-6 6-3 5-7 6-4, with the two embracing warmly at the net.
Tommy Paul had never made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam until this Australian run
Paul and his quarter finals opponent Ben Shelton warmly embraced at the net after the match
Paul, ranked 35, attacked the backhand of his fast-rising opponent, and held stronger in the tiebreak. He ended up winning it 8-6 after being 5-4 down and facing two set points with the younger player serving.
Lefthander Shelton has been a revelation this tournament and did not give up when a break down in the third set, levelling for 4-4.
His impressive serve saving him, he then nicked a break to take it into a fourth set, but the effort appeared to have sapped him and he went a decisive break down early in the fourth from which he could not recover.
Shelton stayed in the match with his strong serve and stole a break to win the third set
However, he has shown enough, with his golden left arm, that he is going to be a contender in years to come.
Earlier Poland’s Magda Linette, the world number 45 who is coached by British duo Nick Gellard and Iain Hughes, became the surprise semi-finalist of the women’s event when she upset Karolina Pliskova 6-3 7-5.
She will face number five seed Aryna Sabalenka, who eased past Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-3 6-2.
The top seeded doubles team of Britain’s Neal Skupski and Holland’s Wesley Koolhof were upset 6-3 6-1 by Australians Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijikata in the quarter finals.
Novak Djokovic or Andrey Rublev await Tommy Paul in the next round of the Australian Open