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Who is Tommy Paul, the American that advanced to the 2023 Australian Open semifinals?

It would appear the Americans are enjoying themselves ‘down under.’ The question now is: Can one of them become the first man from the country to win a Grand Slam in almost 25 years.

Who is Tommy Paul, the American that advanced to the 2023 Australian Open semifinals?
Andy CheungGetty

Following a hard-fought battle against one of his countrymen, the American has now moved on to the semifinals of the 2023 Australian Open. Needless to say, that in itself is quite a feat, but can he win his first Grand Slam is now the question that needs an answer.

Tommy Paul advances to 2023 Australian Open semifinals

Though some will lament that it came at the expense of a fellow American, most fans in the United States will be celebrating the fact that Tommy Paul has now advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 Australian Open. An unseeded player, Paul had to overcome another American in the form of Ben Shelton in what turned out to be a tough 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 quarterfinal victory on Tuesday night. To be clear, he is now only the fourth American man to make a Grand Slam semifinal since 2017.

This is of course the first major semifinal of Paul’s career, but the 25-year-old New Jersey native has in no way looked overawed. Prior to the quarterfinal he sent home World No. 30, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, as well as No. 24, Roberto Bautista Agut. Speaking after the against Shelton, Paul explained his process. “I like to think the last four years of my career has just been like steady steps moving up,” he said. “I mean, that’s what it’s felt like. I feel like hopefully 2023 is the year where I really make a big jump.”

Americans have done well at the 2023 Australian Open

While it may be too early to say we’re witnessing the resurgence of the American game, it’s worth noting that three Americans have reached the last eight of the tournament. Alongside Paul and Shelton, there was also World No. 29, Sebastian Korda, who advanced to the quarterfinals via a win against Polish star, Hubert Hurkacz. In case you didn’t know, that’s the most American men to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since the likes of Andre Agassi, Robby Ginepri and James Blake did so back in the 2005 U.S. Open. Sadly, Korda was forced to retire in his quarterfinal duel with Karen Khachanov after suffering a wrist injury.

A look at Tommy Paul and what awaits him

Currently ranked No. 35 in the world, Paul is no novice on the court. Indeed, just last September he reached a career high ranking of No. 28. Where the tournament in Melbourne is concerned, he comes in having made it to the fourth round of last year’s Wimbledon, as well as the third round of the U.S. Open. Other notable entries on his CV include a second-round finish at the French Open in 2020 and 2021, however, what Paul is definitely known for is having defeated players such as Carlos Alcaraz, Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev and the Spanish legend himself, Rafael Nadal.

“I’m really excited. It’s every person’s dream when they start playing tennis to play the big matches at the Slam,” he said. In truth, it doesn’t get much bigger than the opponent who he will now face in the semis. A 21-time Grand Slam singles champion, Novak Djokovic, is as good as he is ruthless. That’s to say if the American’s dream is to continue, he’s going to have to bring his A-game and then some.


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