Paul aiming higher after Australian Open run ends

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[January 27, 2023] MELBOURNE (Reuters) - American Tommy Paul's run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open will take him into the world's top 20 for the first time but the 25-year-old does not want to stop there.  

Tommy Paul of the U.S. looks dejected as he exits the court after losing his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Loren Elliott

His dream run in Melbourne was brought to an emphatic end by a clinical Novak Djokovic on Friday as the Serb moved one win away from a record-extending 10th title.

Paul battled back from 5-1 down in the opening set to 5-5 but ultimately did not have the firepower to stop Djokovic who cruised to a 7-5 6-1 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

But his run has given Paul a taste of the latter stages of a Slam which he hopes can become a regular feeling.

"I mean, great, great two weeks for me. Obviously got to carry it throughout the whole season. It's about consistency. I don't want to be a one-hit wonder," Paul told reporters.

"I want to keep moving up the rankings. It would be nice to end the year top 10. I feel like the way I started year is the right path to do it.

"Obviously I have a lot of matches to win this year. Hopefully get some titles, too. I don't want to just lose in semi-finals. I want to have my name on some trophies next year."

It was Paul's first meeting with the 21-time Grand Slam champion and it was every bit as tough as he imagined.

"I mean, walking on the court was cool. Playing the match and getting beaten like that kind of sucked," Paul said.

"But it's great I got to see the level of where I want to be and know how good I have to play if I want to beat people like that. It was, I think, a good experience.

"He didn't really let me execute any game plan."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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