Paul defeated Shelton to reach the ATP Dallas Open final

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American Tommy Paul beats countryman Ben Shelton to reach ATP Dallas Open final (WILLIAM WEST)

American Tommy Paul beats countryman Ben Shelton to reach ATP Dallas Open final (WILLIAM WEST)

Tommy Paul beat fellow American Ben Shelton 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday to reach the final of the Dallas Open, where he will try to capture his second ATP Tour title.

World number 15 Paul won 27-of-37 first-serve points (73%) and 14-of-22 on his second serve (64%) to eliminate 16th-ranked Shelton after 79 minutes.

“Those courts helped me a little bit,” Paul said. “They don’t jump as high as some of the other courts we’ve played on. I kept the ball in my strike zone a little more.

“I didn’t serve as well as I would have liked but somehow I got out a lot of those service games so that was huge.

Paul snapped a six-match losing streak against top 20 opponents to reach his fourth ATP final.

“If I get broken I feel like the set is over so the whole game is under a lot of pressure,” said Paul.

Paul advanced to Sunday’s championship match against the winner of a later semi-final between American Marcos Giron and French fourth seed Adrian Mannarino.

Paul, who won his only ATP title in Stockholm in 2021, lost his only other finals last year at Acapulco and Eastbourne after making a run to his first Grand Slam semi-final at the 2023 Australian Open.

In his first ATP semifinal since last year in Toronto, Paul dispatched the 21-year-old left-hander to level his record against Shelton at 2-2.

Paul beat Shelton in the semi-finals of last year’s Australian Open but lost in the fourth round at last year’s US Open and in Tokyo, where Shelton won his first ATP title in October last year.

Paul broke for a 3-2 lead and served four games in a row to capture the opening set.

In the second set, Shelton sent a backhand volley wide to give Paul a break and a 2-1 edge. Both of them held service from there until the end.

World number 67 Giron, who lost his only ATP final in 2022 in San Diego, upset US top seed Frances Tiafoe in the quarterfinals.

Mannarino, world number 17, winner of his three ATP finals, is seeking his sixth tour title after lifting trophies at Rosmalen in 2019, Winston-Salem in 2022 and last year at Newport, Astana and Sofia.

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