Australian Open: Tommy Paul reveals mother rushed to Melbourne just in time to watch his quarter-final win
Tommy Paul’s dream run at the Australian Open has become a family affair after his mother rushed from the US to Melbourne in time to watch his million-dollar victory on Wednesday.
The world No.35 overcame Ben Shelton in their all-American showdown to advance to the semi-finals.
WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Tommy Paul celebrates family affair at the Aus Open.
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Paul prevailed in a tight first set and steadied after dropping the third to win 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 5-7 6-4 in his first appearance on Rod Laver Arena.
The result set up a blockbuster semi-final for Paul on Friday against either nine-time champion Novak Djokovic or fifth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev.
It also justified his mum’s push to get on a plane straight from a day at work back home.
“I’m just really excited right now because my mum, right after I won in the round of 16, she hopped on a plane yesterday,” Paul said in his on-court interview.
“She’s right up there. She got here this morning. She went straight from work to get to the airport to watch me today.”
Paul also revealed his looming prize cheque of $925,000 – or at least $1.6m if he reaches the final – came at a good time.
“It’s my girlfriend’s birthday tomorrow,” he said, pointing to Instagram influencer Paige Lorenze in the stands.
“If you guys see her, wish her a happy birthday.”
Paul has never previously been past the fourth round of a grand slam and is probably best known to Australian audiences as a close ally of Nick Kyrgios.
Now the 25-year-old has achieved what Kyrgios, who underwent knee surgery on Monday, has not yet by reaching the Open’s last four.
“I’m pumped to be there and obviously really excited for whoever I play on Friday,” Paul said.
“Making it to the second weekend of a slam, that’s everyone’s dream when they start playing tennis, so I can’t believe I’m here right now.”
Paul’s run to his first grand slam semi-final has included wins over seeded rivals Roberto Bautista Agut (24) and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (30).
But his last-four assignment against Djokovic or Rublev promises to be far tougher.
Shelton’s loss ended his own surprise run into the Open’s second week, where the United States had three men in the last eight of a grand slam for the first time since 2005.
The 20-year-old left-hander was a first-round loser in his only previous grand slam appearance, at last year’s US Open.
Shelton, ranked No.89, will rise at least into the top 50 for the first time on the back of his results in Melbourne.
– with 7NEWS
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