Paul is an interesting tennis player who has always had incredible tools but never quite found consistency. He's been slowly finding it with every year, so much so that he's essentially a threat to become a Top 10 player on the ATP Tour this year.
Wins like the one over Shelton boost confidence, but even more important are trophies. He's going to the final with a chance to win one on native soil, and that has to feel really good.
To get there, he had to face Shelton, a player who had given him plenty of trouble in the past. Shelton bested him in his maiden trophy run at the Japan Open in Tokyo last year, but this time around, it was Paul's time.
Shelton actually started kind of well, forcing a few break points but never quite finding the breakthrough. Paul also wasted a couple of chances early but would get a few more later and, this time, convert them.
He would actually win the opening set 6-2, largely thanks to being the much better player on Saturday afternoon in Dallas. The match would always be fought on the baseline, and Paul won that battle.
He's actually the better hitter of the two, while Shelton is the better server. His serve couldn't really create too much pressure this time around, and that was a huge problem, especially since he was easily outplayed in the rallies.
The second set didn't offer much difference. Shelton largely cruised through his service games, mostly because Paul pulled back. When Paul served, Shelton couldn't do much damage, which showed how far apart they really were in this match. The final score was 6-2, 6-4 for Paul, who will contest the final on Sunday.