Frances Tiafoe and Coco Gauff, amongst other members of the tennis community, have lavished plenty of praise on Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul for putting up a thrilling contest in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Australian Open.
Paul eventually got the better of his relatively inexperienced compatriot to win 7-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. While 20-year-old Shelton had never won a Grand Slam match prior to the 2023 Australian Open, Paul never progressed past the third round in Melbourne.
The unseeded Shelton and Paul marked the presence of two American men in the last eight of the Australian Open for the first time since Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick in 2007. Paul is the first American man since Roddick in 2009 to reach the semifinals at Melbourne Park.
Their history-making heroics have caught plenty of eyes over the past week, with compatriots Frances Tiafoe and Coco Gauff taking to Instagram to rejoice about this momentous feat.
Frances Tiafoe, who made the last eight at Melbourne Park back in 2019, hailed the occasion as an important juncture in American tennis.
"Man two Americans battling in the QF of the Australian Open, love to see it," Tiafoe said in his Instagram story. "Great run, Ben Shelton! Keep believing, Tommy Paul! American tennis, we finally taking over, better believe it. Congrats again fellas."
World No. 7 Coco Gauff, who is slated to play in the semifinals alongside compatriot Jessica Pegula on Friday, expressed her admiration for the duo on Instagram soon after their quarter-final encounter.
"So happy for these two!" the 18-year-old said while posting multiple emojis of the American flag.
Pegula also took the opportunity to congratulate Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul on their remarkable run at the 2023 Australian Open.
"Amazing tourney for these two," the World No. 3 wrote on Instagram.
"To play Novak Djokovic here in Australia would be awesome"- Tommy Paul on facing the Serb in Australian Open 2023 SF
Tommy Paul is set to face nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in his maiden Major semifinal on Friday. It will be the first meeting between the two and Paul is looking forward to playing the former World No. 1 at his favorite hunting ground.
In his post-match press conference, the American opined that he would have had a higher probability of winning in the semifinals if he were to play Djokovic's quarter-final opponent, Andrey Rublev. He, however, thoroughly cherishes the opportunity to compete against the very best for his final Grand Slam final.
"That [Novak Djokovic] is probably who I want to play," Paul said. "I probably have a better chance of winning if it's Rublev, but to play Novak here in Australia would be awesome. I saw him in the locker room after I finished my match. He said, Congrats. Not too much. It's going to be a challenging match. But I'm playing some of my best tennis, so it's a good time."