American Ben Shelton reaches US Open quarterfinals

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NEW YORK — Big serving Ben Shelton with a 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory in the US Open quarterfinals on Sunday. Tommy PaulMarking the second time this year he has advanced this far in a Grand Slam event.

Shelton flexed his bicep in front of the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd after a match point to avenge Paul’s four-set win when they faced the American in the quarterfinals of this year’s Australian Open. He did so by winning 75% of his first-serve points, hitting 16 hits and serving two serves in a game recorded at 149 mph.

“I think it was straight adrenaline,” he told the crowd after the match. “In no other environment could I have accomplished this.”

Shelton, a 20-year-old who won the NCAA singles title at Florida in 2022, has since become the youngest American man to reach the final eight at Flushing Meadows. Andy Roddick Did it at the same age in 2002.

At least one American is guaranteed to be in the semifinals for the second year in a row. Not because. 10 Francis TiafoeWho reached that stage last year, missed out on the Australian wild-card entry Rinky Hijikata 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. Shelton will face Tiafor next.

It was the first major tournament since the Open era began in 1968 that multiple black American men — Shelton and Tiafoe — reached the quarterfinals.

Another American, seeded ninth Taylor FritzThe Swiss advanced through the qualifiers to the quarter-finals Dominic Striker 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4. Striker drew the number. 7 Stephanos Tsitsipas In the second round

The U.S. trio is the most in the quarterfinals since Andre Agassi, James Blake and Robbie Ginepri in 2005.

at night, Novak Djokovic, no. 2 seed and 23-time Grand Slam champion, beating the 25-year-old seed Burna Gozo Croatia 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. Djokovic played much cleaner than his previous matches and was in control throughout. He finished with just 12 unforced errors, while Gozo had 40. Djokovic won five of Gozo’s 15 service games and was broken only once.

“Delighted to get through in straight sets,” said Djokovic, who is already confident of a replacement Carlos Alcaraz At no time. 1 in the ATP rankings next week.

Djokovic is followed by Fritz, the only remaining player in the men’s bracket who has yet to drop a set. It was Djokovic’s 13th quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows and Fritz’s first. Djokovic is 7-0 against Fritz.

That’s surprising, obviously, for [U.S. Tennis Association]Also for the US Open,” Djokovic said, referring to the three Americans who reached the quarterfinals. [use a] Big serve, very aggressive game.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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