Tommy Paul and His Family Experience a Smooth Journey at the U.S. Open, Marking Another Victory

by Gabriel Martinez
Tommy Paul U.S. Open Victory

In his youth, Tommy Paul, originally from Greenville, North Carolina, and his family would make the nearly 500-mile journey to New York a week prior to the U.S. Open. They took advantage of the free admission to the qualifying rounds and enjoyed watching professionals practice. Yet, these family excursions were not without mishaps. On separate occasions, they encountered emergencies that required visits to the on-site hospital—his sister suffered a venomous spider bite, and his mother fainted and sustained a head injury after witnessing a player’s serious accident.

“Every single year, it seemed something disastrous would occur,” recounted Paul.

In stark contrast, the current visit to Flushing Meadows has proven uneventful in terms of calamities for Paul and indeed for other male American tennis players. The 26-year-old, seeded 14th, secured his inaugural entry into the U.S. Open’s fourth round. He achieved this by hitting 15 aces and only being broken once in a 6-1, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 triumph over Spain’s 21st seed, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, in the Arthur Ashe Stadium last Friday.

“Finding myself scheduled to play in Ashe came as a surprise,” admitted Paul, who had never before played in the stadium that seats 23,000. “I hope this is just the beginning of many more appearances here.”

Paul’s prospects look promising, especially as he’s among a cadre of American male players in their 20s who are making strides on the tennis circuit. This group of emerging talent is in focus particularly at this hard-court tournament, a stage where no American male has clinched a major championship in the last two decades.

“Many of these players have trained together, know each other’s strategies intimately, and view each other as equals,” said U.S. Davis Cup captain Bob Bryan. “When one starts making progress, it fosters collective belief.”

In the quarterfinals, Paul is slated to face Ben Shelton, an unseeded 20-year-old from Florida. Shelton secured his spot by defeating Aslan Karatsev of Russia in a match that saw him serve 26 aces.

Other Americans in the fourth round include Frances Tiafoe, the 25-year-old Maryland native and 10th seed, who defeated France’s 22nd seed, Adrian Mannarino. Tiafoe had reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at last year’s U.S. Open and remains the only American male to make it to the fourth round in New York four years in a row since Andre Agassi from 2002 to 2005.

Looking ahead, Taylor Fritz, the 9th seed, was scheduled to face Czech qualifier Jakub Mensik, while wild-card entry Michael Mmoh plays his match on Saturday.

As for the rest of the U.S. Open schedule, the night matches featured Coco Gauff versus Elise Mertens, followed by Novak Djokovic against Laslo Djere. In women’s tennis, defending champion Iga Swiatek defeated her close friend Kaja Juvan, while Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Muchova also advanced.

Before this year’s tournament, Paul had not won a single match at the U.S. Open, but this year seems to be different. “Frances Tiafoe is my go-to player to watch,” said Paul, “seeing his success not only boosts his confidence but also fortifies our belief that we too can perform at such a high level.”

Indeed, the competition among the American men remains friendly and constructive. “There’s a supportive rivalry among us,” said Paul. “We motivate each other, be it through results or during practice sessions.”

For continued tennis coverage: AP Tennis

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tommy Paul U.S. Open Victory

What milestone did Tommy Paul achieve in this year’s U.S. Open?

Tommy Paul secured his inaugural entry into the U.S. Open’s fourth round. He defeated Spain’s 21st seed, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, with a scoreline of 6-1, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Who is Tommy Paul slated to face in the quarterfinals?

Tommy Paul is scheduled to play against Ben Shelton, an unseeded 20-year-old from Florida, in the quarterfinals.

What other American male players are making progress in the tournament?

Frances Tiafoe, the 10th seed, has also reached the fourth round, as have other Americans like Taylor Fritz and wild-card entry Michael Mmoh, although their matches were still pending at the time of the report.

Why is this tournament significant for American men’s tennis?

This tournament is particularly noteworthy because it’s been two decades since an American man last won a major tennis championship. The emergence of young talent like Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe signifies a potential turning point.

What challenges did Tommy Paul and his family face in past visits to the U.S. Open?

In previous years, visits to the U.S. Open have been marred by unfortunate events for Tommy Paul and his family. These included a venomous spider bite suffered by his sister and his mother fainting and sustaining a head injury.

What did U.S. Davis Cup captain Bob Bryan say about this group of American men?

Bob Bryan noted that these players have grown up and trained together, understand each other’s game well, and view each other as equals. When one player starts succeeding, it fosters a collective sense of belief among the group.

What other key matches were highlighted in the U.S. Open?

Besides the matches involving American men, the night schedule featured Coco Gauff vs. Elise Mertens, and Novak Djokovic against Laslo Djere. In women’s tennis, defending champion Iga Swiatek, Caroline Wozniacki, and Karolina Muchova also advanced.

How did Frances Tiafoe perform in the lead-up to this U.S. Open?

Frances Tiafoe was not in his best form leading up to this U.S. Open, having lost three of his last four matches on hard courts. However, he emphasized that his focus was solely on performing well in this particular tournament.

What is the significance of the venue, Arthur Ashe Stadium?

Arthur Ashe Stadium is the main stadium for the U.S. Open and has a seating capacity of 23,000. It is considered a prestigious venue, and Tommy Paul expressed surprise and honor at being scheduled to play there.

Where can readers find continued coverage of tennis news?

For ongoing tennis coverage, readers can visit the AP Tennis website at AP Tennis.

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DanO September 2, 2023 - 5:31 am

A venomous spider bite and fainting? Man, the Paul family had some serious drama at the Open before. Glad to hear it’s smoother sailing this time around.

SamInTheField September 2, 2023 - 7:33 am

20 years since an American man took a major tennis championship? yikes! Lets hope these new guys can end that streak soon.

AlexM September 2, 2023 - 10:32 am

Does anyone else think that this new generation is gonna bring American men’s tennis back into relevance? Got my fingers crossed.

Tara_S September 2, 2023 - 1:21 pm

Didn’t Paul lose to Djokovic in the Australian Open? I mean, if you’re gonna lose, might as well be to one of the greats, right? But maybe next time he’ll beat him.

Vicky_Q September 2, 2023 - 2:13 pm

Who else is rooting for Tiafoe? that guy’s got passion, and after his performance last year, I’m all in on him.

SteveInNY September 2, 2023 - 2:24 pm

Arthur Ashe Stadium, 23,000 seats and Tommy Paul takes the spotlight. Impressive, really impressive.

Claire_H September 2, 2023 - 3:18 pm

It’s about time the US had some new blood in men’s tennis. Between Tiafoe and Paul, feels like there’s hope again.

GregT September 2, 2023 - 4:48 pm

Paul and Shelton in the next round should be good. healthy competition, no bad blood, just pure skill on display.

JenTenn September 2, 2023 - 6:12 pm

Gotta say, wasn’t expecting Paul to make it to the 4th round. Seems like all the bad luck his family had in the past is finally turning around. Go Tommy!

Mike_SportsFan September 2, 2023 - 10:15 pm

Man, Tommy Paul is really making a name for himself this year, huh? If he keeps this up, who knows, maybe a Grand Slam isn’t too far off! Exciting times for American tennis.


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