Tommy Paul was too young in 2003 to recall Andy Roddick winning the American. The final Grand Slam singles championship won by an American was the Open.
Paul, now 25 years old, recalls seeing banners advertising the victory at the North Carolina tennis club where he first learned the game. Paul noted that Roddick’s Reebok attire caught his attention the most.
Paul, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Karen Khachanov of Russia to advance to the Australian Open semifinals, said with a smile, “I was salty when he switched to Lacoste. I was like, ‘He won’t be able to win another Slam right now..'” Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face Paul in the other semifinal on Friday. “I assumed the attire was to blame.”
Although a trio of men named Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Djokovic probably had more to do with where the league titles continued throughout Roddick’s career. And beyond — any clothing choices, that victory at Flushing Meadows 20 years ago still stands as the last Grand Slam singles victory for any American man.
One of the instances of how U.S. men are suddenly back in demand in tennis is Paul’s run at Melbourne Park.
The coaches have been saying to us, “We need new Americans. We need new Americans,” since I was a young child, and it’s inscribed in my head, Paul remarked, tapping his forehead with his right index finger. We all want to perform. In other words, we all want it very much for ourselves and American tennis.
Following Frances Tiafoe’s run to the semifinals at the U.S. Open, Paul achieves a significant breakthrough. Before this, Paul had never advanced past the fourth round at a major. During the Open in September, he defeated Nadal before falling to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz.
Since Roddick lost to Federer in the 2006 U.S. Open final, this is the first time in 16 years that American men have advanced to the last four at two major tournaments. Australian Open in 2007 and fell to him in the semifinals.
More evidence supports the notion that a country that produced Don Budge, Bill Tilden, Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and others did not count in men’s tennis in recent years. Serena and Venus Williams, among others, ensured U.S. women remained at the forefront — should be taken more seriously.
Many 20 plus Americans had impressive victories in the men’s bracket at the Australian Open, including Mackenzie McDonald defeating Nadal, the defending champion and No. 1 seed, Jenson Brooksby defeating Casper Ruud, the No. 2 seed, and Sebastian Korda defeating Daniil Medvedev, the No. 7 seed, who had finished as the runner-up the previous two years; the first American trio to reach the men’s quarterfinals in Melbourne since 2000 with Paul, Ben Shelton, and Korda;
Sam Querrey’s quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon in 2016 halted a streak of 22 majors and over 4 1/2 years during which no American male reached that stage at any Grand Slam event;
There are expected to be 10 Americans in the ATP top 50 on Monday, which was last achieved in June 1995. By the end of the Australian Open, Paul is most likely to climb into the top 20 for the first time, while other players are expected to make significant jumps.
With how some players perform, Shelton turned professional after winning the NCAA title match at the University of Florida last year, sophomore year. He advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals before falling to Paul in four sets on Wednesday. He said, “I don’t see why we couldn’t have 5, 6 guys in the top 20 at the end of this year.”
According to Shelton, American tennis has a great deal of promise. “I can’t wait to participate,” you said.
After that victory, Paul was questioned about the possible thoughts of his home supporters during his on-court interview at Rod Laver Arena.
Paul stated, “It’s not just thrilling for the American supporters. I’m pleased for Ben, and I’m excited for all the players that are coming up. It’s fantastic for fans worldwide and fabulous for us, too.
Djokovic accepted the premise.
He believes that having successful American tennis players participate in the final rounds of the most significant events and finally be heard can only be positive for the sport’s appeal.
“Because some of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world are held on the North American continent, Djokovic said, “America is a critical country for our sport. I think it’s important that we witness successful American men and women thriving. America is making, historically, always top players.” “I think that’s excellent for our sport,” said one sports fan. “Now you have a record of maybe four or five young athletes banging on the highest-level door.”