- The quarterfinals of men’s singles play at the Australian Open continue tomorrow
- Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul will play each other for the first time
- Take a look below for match odds, recaps of how each player has done, and a best bet prediction
It’s an All-American quarterfinal showdown at the 2023 Australian Open tomorrow when Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul go head-to-head for a spot in the semis. For the first time in almost two decades there are three US men in the final eight of a major.
Ben Shelton vs Tommy Paul Odds
|Ben Shelton||+4.5 (-120)||+205||Ov 39.5 (-115)|
|Tommy Paul||-4.5 (-105)||-260||Un 39.5 (-110)|
Neither Shelton nor Paul are favorites to win the tournament at this point, but their Australian Open odds have significantly shortened as the two continue to compete. For example, Shelton’s odds to win were +44157 as of January 15th, and are now listed at +6500.
Shelton’s Cinderella Run
This time last year, 20-year old Shelton was at the University of Florida, where he was a student, studying and playing on the men’s tennis team. The American had never been outside the US.
He’s now found himself in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
The 20-year old has been playing like he’s done this before, but he just made his Grand Slam debut at the US Open last year.
Ben Shelton has reached the #AusOpen quarterfinals in his main draw debut 👏
He is the fourth American man to achieve this since 1990, joining Tennys Sandgren, Andre Agassi and Patrick McEnroe. pic.twitter.com/oTkhVolE1u
— ESPN (@espn) January 23, 2023
In the fourth round, he found himself up against another fellow countryman in J.J. Wolf, and the match went the distance and then some. He put up 23 aces to just one double fault, and managed an 82 win percentage when landing his first serve.
Shelton being naive, coming into the tournament not knowing what to expect, looks to have worked in his favor up until the point. Can it continue?
Paul Defeats Roberto Bautista Agut
The 25-year old put on a show for the audience earlier on Monday, when he defeated Bautista Agut, to earn himself a spot in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. He defeated the Spaniard 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in three hours and 19 minutes.
On route to the win, he managed to convert six of 15 break points, and record 58 winners to Bautista Agut’s 35. Paul entered the match with a 1-3 head-to-head record against the 34-year old, and had something to prove. He’s now 5-1 on the season, including Australian Open matches, and has risen seven spots to World No. 28 in the rankings.
The First Meeting
These two have never faced each other before, as their current head-to-head sits at 0-0.
Ben Shelton vs Tommy Paul Head-to-Head Stats
Shelton vs Paul Pick
This is the first US quarterfinal Grand Slam match up since 2005.
These two players have a similar style of play, which can be widely attributed to them growing up and playing the same game in the United States. Their serves and strong baseline game are both strength of theirs.
As this is both players first Grand Slam quarterfinal match, it’s hard to say if experience will play into this match. Shelton has been able to breeze through, wide eyed, with a happy to be here mentality. But you have to think that the quarterfinals are when the nerves could start to kick in, or when it all starts to feel real. The older American has played in a few more Grand Slams, but never at this point in a tournament. Either way there will be an American competing in the semifinals of the Australian Open. Both Shelton and Paul have the ability to win, so look for the sets to be the best bet.
Best Bet: 4 sets (+145)