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Tommy Paul Relishes Novak Djokovic Semi-Final Challenge

Australian Open

January 25, 2023

Tommy Paul can now say that his dream has come true.

The talented American will play the greatest of them all on current form – Novak Djokovic – for a place in the Australian Open final.

If Paul were to win, it would be the most shocking giant-killing of all time.

This is Tommy’s first Grand Slam semi-final. For Novak it’s his tenth semi in Australia alone. The last nine times he got this far, he won the title.

But the rise in American men’s tennis is simply phenomenal right now. Someone from the USA always goes deep these days.

Tommy Paul, Taylor Fritz, Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton. They are all stars to watch at Wimbledon 2023!

And Paul can’t wait to face the biggest challenge in tennis Down Under. He pretty much knew before the first set was over in the other semi-final whom he would play next.

Tommy said: ‘I think I saw Novak 5-1 in the first or something. That’s probably who I want to play.

‘I mean, I probably have a better chance of winning if it’s Rublev. But to play Novak here in Australia would be awesome.’

And that’s exactly what will happen. Tommy had already beaten the rising star of America, Ben Shelton.

It took four sets before the older man prevailed 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. What a fantastic advertisement for American men’s tennis!

Meanwhile Djokovic saw off Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Against anyone else, Rublev would probably have won.

Novak Djokovic is the true master of this sport . No one should miss the chance to watch him at Wimbledon 2023 while he remains at the height of his powers.

Djokovic said: ‘I cannot be happier with my tennis. Love playing in these conditions on this court. Love playing here.’

It showed. Novak was in complete control against Rublev – although the troubled Russian had his moments.

The Serb insisted: ‘The score-line doesn’t speak the reality of the match. We had some very close games and I have the greatest respect for him.

‘But for all the important shots and important moments, I found my best tennis. That’s what makes me the most pleased tonight.’

Novak has been on the treatment table constantly in between matches at the Australian Open – and it has been well worth it so far.

‘I’ve been connected to machines more than to any people on my days off in order to get my leg ready. It worked.’

Can anyone stop a man who nearly always wins the tournament when he plays here? Novak refuses to be complacent. ‘I’ll try to keep on being good on the court. I’ve got to be ready for that match mentally. If I play the way I’ve been playing, I have a good chance to go through.’

Tommy Paul will enjoy the semi-final experience anyway. And he has already introduced himself to Novak. ‘In the locker room we met earlier today,’ Djokovic revealed.

The American isn’t scared of playing the greatest – quite the reverse. ‘I’m really looking forward to the match. I’m playing some of my best tennis,’ he said quite truthfully.

And he will go into the match pressure-free and ready to give everything. Novak is expecting fireworks.

‘Obviously he doesn’t have much to lose, first semi for him. He’s been playing some terrific tennis in the last 12 to 18 months.’

Watch out for Tommy Paul at Wimbledon 2023 when he comes out with all guns blazing there too!

Meanwhile Novak Djokovic is planning another fight against the great Roger Federer now the Swiss has retired from tennis. ‘I want to challenge Roger to a skiing race in a few years’ time. Big regards to him and his family,’ Novak said.

Wouldn’t that be something? In the mean time there is serious business in Australia. And soon it’ll be time for the biggest Grand Slam of them all – Wimbledon 2023!

Will you be there?

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