27 Jan Australian Open Semifinalist Tommy Paul Will Return Home to Delray Beach Open
AO Quarterfinalists Ben Shelton, Jiri Lehecka Also Coming to Delray Next Month
Strong Qualifying Draw Features Delray Champions, Olympic medalists, NCAA Winner
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2023) – Players entered in the 2023 Delray Beach Open continue to make headlines at the Australian Open, the season’s first Grand Slam event. Palm Beach County resident Tommy Paul defeated former Florida Gator and reigning NCAA champion Ben Shelton in the quarterfinals to become the first American man to reach the tournament’s semifinals since 2009. South Florida fans can see both at the Delray Beach Open, Feb. 10-19 at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. The tournament is the first North American hard court event of the outdoor season, and one of just 10 ATP Tour events in the United States.
Also entered in the Delray tournament is 21-year-old Czech Jiri Lehecka who reached the Australian quarterfinals. Mackenzie McDonald and Jenson Brooksby, also in the Delray Beach Open field, became the first two American men in 29 years to defeat the top two seeds at the same Grand Slam tournament. Other 2023 DBO players who reached the fourth round down under include Yoshihito Nishioka, 2020 DBO finalist, and J.J. Wolf, who upset the 23rd seed and moves into the world’s Top 50 in the rankings.
Paul, who next faces nine-time champion Novak Djokovic in Australia, will move into the world’s Top 20 in the rankings with his success in Australia. Last year, he reached the Delray semifinals as a wild card entry and has enjoyed success in the area since his days playing junior tournaments, when he won back-to-back championships in Delray Beach at the USTA National Clay Court 16s and 18s in 2013-14.
Shelton, 20, will debut in the world’s Top 50 after the Australian Open, besting his father Bryan’s career-high of No. 55. Bryan Shelton reached the Delray Beach Open quarterfinals in 1993-94 when it was held in Coral Springs and is now the Florida men’s tennis coach.
These Australian Open standouts will be joined in the main draw by four players who advance from the 16-player qualifying tournament Feb. 11-12. The qualifying field includes a pair of former Delray Beach Open champions: Radu Albot (2019) and Jack Sock (2017).
Here is an overview of the 2023 Delray Beach Open qualifying field:
- Two Delray Beach Open singles champions (Radu Albot, 2019; Jack Sock, 2017)
- One player who won an ATP Tour title in 2022 (Brandon Nakashima, San Diego)
- One former Top 10 player (Jack Sock, No. 8)
- Three Olympic medals (Steven Johnson & Jack Sock, 2016 bronze in men’s doubles; Sock, 2016 gold in mixed doubles)
- Six former college players (Brandon Nakashima, Virginia; Steve Johnson, Southern California; Emilio Gomez, Southern California; Christopher Eubanks, Georgia Tech; Nuno Borges, Mississippi State; Aleksandar Vukic, Illinois)
- Two NCAA singles titles (Steve Johnson, 2011-12, USC) and six NCAA team titles (Steve Johnson, 2009-12, USC; Emilio Gomez, 2011-12, USC)
- One son of a Grand Slam champion (Emilio Gomez, son of 1990 French Open champion Andres Gomez)
Here are the players entered in the 2023 Delray Beach Open qualifying field:
(49) Brandon Nakashima, 21, USA – won his first ATP Tour title in his hometown at 2022 San Diego and captured the Next Gen ATP Finals championship; played one year at Virginia where he was 2019 ACC Freshman of the Year
(100) Radu Albot, 33, Moldova – 2019 Delray Beach Open champion saving 3 match points vs. Dan Evans in final
(101) Emilio Gomez, 31, Ecuador – Cracked the Top 100 last October at the age of 30; won NCAA team titles at USC 2011-12; son of 1990 French Open champion Andres Gomez
(102) Alejandro Tabilo, 25, Chile – Reached first ATP final at 2022 Cordoba as a qualifier; reached career high No. 64 in 2022; born in Toronto and represented Canada during junior career
(107) Michael Mmoh, 25, USA – As a lucky loser into the 2023 Australian Open reached his first Grand Slam 3r by upsetting 12th seed Alexander Zverev
(108) Denis Kudla, 30, USA – Won 13 straight matches in March 2022, sweeping singles and doubles titles at Phoenix Challenger before reaching ATP Masters 1000 Miami 3R as a qualifier; 2022 win over former World No. 1 Andy Murray.
(111) Nuno Borges, 25, Portugal – Cracked Top 100 in 2022; won through qualifying into 2022 French and US Opens; lucky loser into Wimbledon; five-time All-American at Miss. State and reached 2019 NCAA singles final
(114) Yibing Wu, 23, China – After not playing for nearly three years due to injury, ranking rose from No. 1,869 in March 2022 to career-high No. 173 in August 2022; qualified at 2022 US Open, joining Zhang as first Chinese men to compete in main draw of that event in Open Era.
(116) Christopher Eubanks, 26, USA – Qualified at five ATP events in 2022; two-time All-American and ACC Player of the Year 2016-17 at Georgia Tech; Tennis Channel commentator
(119) Steve Johnson, 33, USA – Career-high No. 21; four ATP singles titles; doubles bronze medalist w/Sock at 2016 Olympics; NCAA singles winner 2011-12 at USC, ended college career with 72 straight singles wins and No. 1 rank.
(129) Jack Sock, 30, USA – Won Delray Beach Open singles (2017) and doubles (2018, 2013); four ATP singles titles including ATP Masters 1000 Paris in 2017; Three Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and one mixed doubles title; 2016 Olympic gold medalist in mixed doubles and bronze medalist in men’s doubles w/Steve Johnson; career-high singles rank of No. 8 and doubles rank of No. 2
(138) Yosuke Watanuki 24, Japan – Qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw at 2023 Australian Open and won 1r; finished 2022 on 10-match win streak and won two Challenger titles
(146) Aleksandar Vukic, 26, Australia – 2022: QF at Adelaide-2 with best win over No. 35 Bublik; QF at Sofia with wins over former No. 9 Fognini and former No. 7 Verdasco; 3-time All-American and 2017 Big Ten Athlete of the Year for University of Illinois.
(152) Mattia Bellucci, 21, Italy – 2022: Won two Challenger events and five ITF events; started the year ranked 681 and finished ranked 153.
Additionally, two wild cards will be awarded to players for the qualifying draw for a total of 16 players.
Qualifiers into the main draw have a good track record at the Delray Beach Open: They’ve won the title three times (Ernests Gulbis, 2013; Kei Nishikori, 2008; Andrew Ilie, 1998) and have reached the final on four other occasions.
Opening weekend starts Friday, Feb. 10 with an ATP Champions Tour legends event featuring the Bryan Brothers, and continues with qualifying matches for the ATP 250 event as well as an ATP pro-am, Legends clinics, nonprofit clinics and special pricing for kids and seniors. The main draw starts Monday, Feb. 13 and culminates with Championship Sunday on Feb. 19. The tournament is celebrating its 25th year in Delray Beach and 31st overall.
There are many special ticket offers for seniors, kids, USTA members, groups and multi-session tickets. Opening Weekend covers sessions 1-4. Sessions 1-6 are free for military, police, fire fighters, first responders and nurses with ID, based on availability. Senior Days offer buy one box or reserved ticket, get one free to fans 55 and older for the day sessions on Saturday, Feb. 11, Monday, Feb. 13 and Wednesday, Feb. 15 (sessions 2, 5 and 9).
All individual session tickets for the Delray Beach Open are on sale and start at just $42. Weeklong series packages can now be secured for a $100 deposit. Veranda series packages have already sold out but a variety of series packages are still available starting at $750, including reserved seats, courtside box seats and on-court “Best Seats in the House.” Packages include parking and exclusive amenities, making them an all-inclusive deal.
A Finals Weekender package starts at $300 and includes quarterfinals through finals tickets. Visit www.YellowTennisBall.com, call 561-330-6000 or email info@YellowTennisBall.com for more information.
Some of the world’s best players launched their careers at the Delray Beach Open. Former champion American Frances Tiafoe, now ranked in the world’s top 20, continues to light up crowds with his game and personality, and reached this year’s U.S. Open semifinals. Other recent Delray Beach champions include former U.S. Open winners Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro, Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson, and multiple Grand Slam doubles titlist Jack Sock. Other competitors over the tournament’s entire 30 years of ATP tennis include a roster of Hall of Famers and fan favorites with Nick Kyrgios, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Tommy Haas, Patrick Rafter, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander and Jimmy Connors being among the most notable.
The Delray Beach stop on the global ATP Tour annually plays in front of over 60,000 fans and reaches television audiences in over 50 countries.
Disclaimer – Match schedule, including number of sessions, dates, times, number of matches and players scheduled are subject to change. Tickets are not eligible for refund or exchange.