Tommy Paul Reaches Australian Open Quarter-finals For First Time In Career


New Jersey’s Tommy Paul booked a spot in his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final after defeating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open. 

The Spaniard, buoyed by defeating former world No 1 Andy Murray, was worn down in a ‘war’ of a fourth round match, with 35th-ranked Paul winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 on Monday.

‘It was a really physical, tough match,’ Paul said. ‘Any time you play Bautista it’s going to be a war. So I was prepared for that match and I thought I executed really well today.’

Tommy Paul booked the first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance of his career in Melbourne

The 35th-ranked Paul defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to claim victory

The 35th-ranked Paul defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to claim victory

This was the fifth time these two players were meeting – Bautista Agut had won three of the previous four – but Paul looked confident and that only grew as the match wore on inside Margaret Court Arena.

The match started on Bautista Agut’s racquet but he was to be broken in a mammoth 23-minute opening game, which saw five deuces and Paul convert on his fourth break point opportunity. 

Paul followed that up with a straightforward hold in three minutes to go up 2-0. 

After an exchange of holds the American was to break again in the fifth game, taking a sizeable 4-1 advantage thanks to a forehand winner. 

He would hold his nerve on serve to see the opening set out 6-2. 

new balance

‘It’s always fun playing on this court, I think it was my third time playing here and it’s always a blast,’ Paul added.

‘I felt like I was running a lot, so I definitely wanted to be on offence a little bit more there towards the end of the match. 

‘I feel like the first set, I was kind of controlling everything, and then he was finding so many forehands later in the match and making me run. That wasn’t a lot of fun, but I’m happy to get through that one.’

Bautista Agut, who was particularly angry when he received a time violation, is known on Tour for his endurance and that showed as he sprung back to life to win the second set, but Paul would dominate thereafter and was a deserving winner to set up an all-American quarter-final with Ben Shelton, a player who had never previously left the United States.  

Spaniard Bautista Agut got angry with one of the officials when he was handed a time violation

Spaniard Bautista Agut got angry with one of the officials when he was handed a time violation

‘I think he [Shelton] was down two-sets-to-one when I came on court, so I had no idea who I would play if I won, but I was happy with either [Shelton or Wolf],’ said Paul. 

‘I’m really happy to be playing an American in the quarters. There’s going to be an American in the semis for sure, so I’m really excited for that, and hopefully you guys can come out and watch that one too.’ 

Monday morning when the official ATP rankings update, there will be 10 American men inside the world’s top 50: Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Sebastian Korda, Paul, Jenson Brooksby, John Isner, Shelton, J.J. Wolf, Reilly Opelka and Brandon Nakashima.



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