The Stars & Stripes at the Australian Open
Four Americans have qualified for the quarterfinals of the 2023 Australian Open, three men: Sebastian Korda, Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul; and one woman: Jessica Pegula.
For the first time in 18 years, the men’s draw has three Americans in the top eight of a Grand Slam. The last time this happened was when Robby Ginepri, James Blake, and Andre Agassi (who lost the final to Roger Federer) advanced to the final eight at the 2005 US Open.
Korda, Shelton, and Paul are living a dream, as none of them had ever made it this far in a grand slam.
It’s a very different situation for Jessica Pegula. The world number 3 reached the quarterfinals at last year’s Roland Garros and US Open last. Last season Pegula also won her first WTA 1000 title, the Guadalajara Open against Maria Sakkari.
A Who’s Who of the American Quarterfinalists at the Australian Open
The New Yorker is linked to sports, as she’s the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula. At the end of last year, Pegula signed with the talent agency GSE Worldwide, which is also in charge of other well-known faces of the WTA circuit like Paula Badosa.
Pegula is the founder of Ready 24, a skin care products company, and also works with Adidas, Yonex and the Ready nutrition brand. In 2022 her sponsorship earnings were higher than tournament earnings — she received $4 million for brand endorsements and $3.6 million in tournament earnings.
Last last night, Victoria Azarenka defeated the American in two sets in the quarterfinals in Australia.
2022 was a great year for Sebastian Korda. He made his debut at the Australian Open, winning against Carlos Alcaraz (current ATP #1) and reached a career-high ranking of #30.
The Florida tennis player counts Adidas, Wilson, and Motorola as sponsors. Brands have benefited from his great tournament and his impact on social media. Korda has added more than 20,000 new Instagram since the Australian Open kicked off.
Late last night, Korda was unable to finish his quarterfinal match in Melbourne and had to retire against Karen Khachanov.
Paul made his Grand Slam debut in 2015, and in 2019 he cracked the top 100. At the 2023 Australian Open, Paul reached his first grand slam quarterfinals.
The 25-year-old tennis player counts New Balance, Wilson, and Motorola as sponsors. His agreement with Motorola was announced a few days ago across his social media.
Shelton has become the Cinderella Story of the Australian Open. Prior to this year’s Australian Open, Shelton had never left the United States. On his way to the quarterfinals, Shelton defeated fellow American J.J. Wolf in an exciting five-set match.
Shelton became the first American tennis player since Andy Roddick to reach the quarterfinals of a grand slam before his 21st birthday.
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