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Tommy Poole, unexpected semi-finalist at the Australian Open and part of a USA team event seeking a return to the golden days

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During the first four decades of modern tennis, the stage that lifted the curtain in 1968, Tennis players from the United States dominated big leagues. With more or less success, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Jim Courier and Andy Roddick have been established champions in Grand Slam tournaments.

But the sporting growth of the countries surrounding the Tour, especially those in Eastern Europe, changed the map and the four knights of racquet art (plus the United States, Great Britain, France and Australia) were losing ground. For just over a decade, the USTA (American Association) has taken note of the serious problem and confronted it, creating new training centers and programs. Tommy Poole, current Australian Open semi-finalist, who is making the most noise this week at Melbourne Park, but the 25-year-old New Jersey native, Voorhees, is no lone wolf. Paul is part of a A team event that currently features thirteen tennis players among the top 90 players Of the ATP rankings, the majority are under 25, with Taylor Fritz (9) and Frances Tiafoe (17) as reviewers.

Tommy Paul advanced to the semi-finals of the Australian Open David Gray – AFP

At Rod Laver Arena, Paul defeated inexperienced compatriot Ben Shelton (20; 89) 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, and became the first player from the United States to reach the semi-finals. In Australia since Roddick in 2009. His rival will be the biggest candidate for the tournament, Serbian Novak Djokovic (defeated Russian Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4). If the American were to beat the former top seed, he would be the first American to determine the Australian championship since Agassi became champion two decades earlier, in 2003.

The numbers don’t lie and illustrate the positive wave of American tennis. Not since Roddick and Mardy Fish in Australia in 2007 have two players from that country faced each other so late in a Grand Slam tournament. Paul represents the character of these watches, but Chilton’s case is also exceptional. Just a year ago, the left-hander was ranked No. 569, he was still attending the University of Florida, he wasn’t even the first solo player in his lineup and he entered the top 100 for the first time in November 2022. But his time will come. Today Paul is the main card. Between 2018 and 2019 he lost months of competition due to injuries to his right elbow, left quadriceps and knee. But this was left behind.

Smiles and congratulations between Americans Ben Shelton and Tommy Ball after the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
Smiles and congratulations between Americans Ben Shelton and Tommy Ball after the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Dita Alangkara – ap

I still prefer not to actually see, feel or think anything. I’m still in Australia, I still have one more game to go and I want to play two more in Melbourne,” declared the right-handed, 1.85m two-handed backhand, who will face Djokovic in the first time, the nine-time winner in Melbourne (on the other side of the switch). Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Russia’s Karen Khachanov will be measured). He told me: Congratulations. I play my best tennis, so it’s time to play with it.”

A silent semi-finalist in the first major of the year, Paul has won just one title: the ATP 250 Championships in Stockholm, in 2021. In Melbourne, he’s enjoying every moment, on and off the court. Indeed, in his quarter-final challenge against Shilton, the presence of his mother, Gail McMillan, was in the stands. “I’m excited to have my mum here. After I won the last 16 [vs. el español Roberto Bautista Agut] He got on a plane straight from work and arrived around the time of the game. You have done a lot for me. I sacrificed a ton to get it. “He deserves to be here and see me win the big games,” he said. Gil is a former player for East Carolina University and their head coach. Today he works in audiology.

Tommy Ball signs autographs after beating Ben Chilton and qualifying for the semi-finals in Australia
Tommy Ball signs autographs after beating Ben Chilton and qualifying for the semi-finals in Australia Ng Han Guan- AP

For a few years, Paul was accompanied by veteran American trainer Brad Stein, who was the Courier’s guide when he won – to be precise – the Australian Open twice, in 1992 and 1993. Moreover, in his first victories, For the celebration people remember, Stein’s Courier (No. 1 in 1992) accompanied him jumping into the Yarra River that meanders through a Melbourne park. Today, with another perspective and maturity, Stine is the coach who brings out the best in Paul, an energetic tennis player trying to dominate with his forehand.

Celebrate Courier and current Paul coach

It happened with the players of the Spanish Navy. It happened with the tennis players of the Argentine Legion. This is also happening today with the Americans, of course. Mass advances spread infection and cravings for progress. If a player sees that their experience partner is thriving, they will likely try harder to match (or surpass) them. The famous phrase “If he could, so can I” is produced. In March last year, Fritz became the first player of his generation to win the Masters 1000 (at Indian Wells). In September, Tiafoe was the first to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament (at the US Open). Today, Paul is the brave man who dares to break barriers.

In 2022, Paul defeated Carlos Alcaraz (in the second round of Montreal), Rafael Nadal (in the second round of Paris-Bercy) and Janick Sinner (in the eighth round of Eastbourne), among other phenomena. He does not settle down and is a danger to anyone in the ring. In Australia you go for more.

Summary of Paul’s victory over Chilton

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