NEW YORK -- Big-serving Ben Shelton moved into the quarterfinals of the US Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Tommy Paul, marking the second time this year he has advanced that far in a Grand Slam event.
Shelton flexed his biceps to the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd after match point that avenged a four-set win by Paul when the Americans met in this year's Australian Open quarterfinals. He did it by winning 75% of his first-serve points, blasting 16 aces and putting in two serves in one game recorded at 149 mph.
"I think it was straight adrenaline," he told the crowd after the match. "Any other atmosphere I couldn't get it done."
Shelton, a 20-year-old who won the NCAA singles title at Florida in 2022, becomes the youngest American man to reach the final eight at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick did it at the same age in 2002.
There is guaranteed to be at least one American man in the semifinals for the second year in a row. That's because No. 10 Frances Tiafoe, who got to that stage last year, eliminated Australian wild-card entry Rinky Hijikata 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. Shelton will next face Tiafoe.
This is the first major tournament since the Open era began in 1968 to feature multiple Black American men -- Shelton and Tiafoe -- in the quarterfinals.
Yet another American, ninth-seeded Taylor Fritz, made the quarterfinals by getting past Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4. Stricker had taken out No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round.
The three men from the United States in the quarterfinals is the most since Andre Agassi, James Blake and Robby Ginepri got there in 2005.
At night, Novak Djokovic, the No. 2 seed and 23-time Grand Slam champion, defeated 25-year-old qualifier Borna Gojo of Croatia 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. Djokovic played far more cleanly than in his previous match and was in control throughout. He finished with only 12 unforced errors, while Gojo made 40. Djokovic also won five of the big-serving Gojo's 15 service games while getting broken only once himself.
"Just glad to get through in straight sets," said Djokovic, who already is assured of replacing Carlos Alcaraz at No. 1 in the ATP rankings next week.
Next up for Djokovic is Fritz, the only remaining player in the men's bracket to not have dropped a set so far. It will be Djokovic's 13th quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows, and Fritz's first. Djokovic is 7-0 against Fritz.
"That's amazing, obviously, for the [U.S. Tennis Association], for the US Open, as well," Djokovic said, referring to the three Americans reaching the quarterfinals. "All of the guys -- Fritz, Shelton and Tiafoe -- [use a] big serve, just very aggressive play."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.