Paul tops Shelton, faces Djokovic in Australia

Tommy Paul is the first man from his country, the United States, to make it to the final four at Melbourne Park since Andy Roddick in 2009. Roddick was also the last man from the U.S. to win a Grand Slam singles championship, at the U.S. Open 20 years ago.

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January 25, 2023 - 2:30 PM

Ben Shelton of the United States celebrates winning in the fourth round singles match against J.J. Wolf of the United States during day eight of the 2023 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images/TNS)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tommy Paul received a lot less attention than his younger, less-experienced, opponent, Ben Shelton, heading into their all-American quarterfinal at the Australian Open.

Perhaps that was a product of the fascination with the out-of-nowhere Shelton: Just 20, and less than a year after winning an NCAA title for the University of Florida, he was traveling outside of the United States for the first time and participating in his second Grand Slam tournament.

So the loud shouts heard most often emanating from the Rod Laver Arena stands on Wednesday, under the sun that carried the temperature to 87 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), were for one of the pair: “Let’s go, Benny! Let’s go!” or “Benny, Benny, Benny! Oi, Oi, Oi!” or “Go, Gators!”

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