Tommy Paul beats Ben Shelton in all-American quarterfinal at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia -- 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 of support heard most often at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday under the sun that carried the temperature to 87 degrees Fahrenheit were for one of the pair: "Let's go, Benny! Let's go!'' or "Benny, Benny, Benny! Oi, Oi, Oi!'' or "Go, Gators!''
"He had a pretty good trip,'' Paul noted.
Paul's story is a pretty good one, too, and it is the one that will keep going at Melbourne Park: The 25-year-old from New Jersey was a star in the juniors and now is making good on that promise in the pros, using a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory over Shelton to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal in his 14th appearance at a major.
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