September 2023
September 14, 2023

Ben Shelton The Rising Star

5 min read

Ben Shelton reached the fourth round of the 2023 Australian Open, his first Grand Slam appearance. He defeated Alexei Popyrin in straight sets, earning his spot in the second week. This is Shelton’s first trip abroad as a professional, having previously played all his tennis in the US. Despite playing all his tennis in the US, he managed to break into the Top-100 of the ATP rankings. His parents, Bryan and Lisa Shelton, and girlfriend Anna Hall have been his constant support throughout his journey.

  1. Who is Ben Shelton?

Ben Shelton was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 9, 2002. Emma, one of his sisters, is a tennis player. Shelton has a history in tennis, it’s fair to say. His uncle Todd Witsken played tennis professionally, and his mother Lisa Witsken Shelton was a highly ranked junior tennis player.

Ben Shelton, a former professional tennis player, is now coaching his son Ben, along with Dean Goldfine. Ben, who initially disliked tennis, began playing regularly at age 12. Shelton, a finance major at the University of Florida, played for the Gators and helped them win their first national championship in 2021 and the NCAA Singles Championship in 2022. He turned professional last year and completed his degree online, a move he made after his father’s retirement. Ben’s father, Bryan, also coached the Florida Gators men’s tennis team.

  1. At the US open in 2023, what did BEN SHELTON do?

Ben Shelton defeated his countryman Frances Tiafoe in four sets to go to his first-ever Grand Slam semifinal and face Novak Djokovic.

The American’s loss in that match, which he did 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4), put an end to his nation’s aspirations of having its first native-born player win the men’s singles title at the US Open.

  1. Brief History: Ben Shelton.

Shelton made his ATP debut at the Atlanta Open in July 2022 and played in the Cincinnati Masters a week later. He made his professional debut in August and reached the fourth round of the 2023 Australian Open, defeating Zhang Zhizhen, Nicolas Jarry, and Alexei Popyrin. He lost to Tommy Paul in the quarter-final. Shelton has since travelled to Paris for Roland-Garros and London for Wimbledon, but suffered a second round defeat at the French Open and a first round defeat at Wimbledon. However, he had a successful tournament at the 2023 US Open, defeating Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe to reach the semi-final. This win made him the youngest American men’s tennis player to reach the last four at the US Open since 1992.

  1. Rankings.
  • Shelton is presently rated 47 in the world as of August 28.
  • Following his performance on the court earlier this year, he hit a career high of 35.
  1. Ben Shelton Ambitions.

Ben Shelton thinks he has what it takes to win a Grand Slam and the world No. 1. “I have full faith in myself that I can win Grand Slams, that I can be number one in the world,” he said to friends Frances Tiafoe and Christopher Eubanks in “All on the Table.”

  1. The Rise of Ben Shelton.

Shelton began 2023 at world No.96, a record only held by four American men in Open Era history. He rose from lower rankings to the top 20 within a single season, starting from his ATP rankings debut in July 2021, and currently holds world No.19 in the ATP live rankings.

  1. Wins first ITF Futures championship on August 1st, 2021.

Shelton won five matches without dropping a set at Champaign, Illinois, a city that would prove to be very beneficial for him and help him win his first professional title. Gijs Brouwer, a final opponent ranked about a thousand places higher, was defeated by him. After that victory, Shelton surpassed Brouwer to rank among the top 1000.

  1. The first challenger quarterfinal on November 19, 2021.

Three months later, in the same city, Shelton won four more wins in a row to advance as a qualifier for the Champaign ATP Challenger quarterfinals. Yosuke Watanuki ended his streak, but it helped him move up to the top 500.

  1. More Challenger triumph on June 4, 2022.

Due to his college tennis commitments, Shelton took a six-month break from professional tennis but resumed it in late 2021. He entered the top 500 after reaching his first Challenger-level semifinal in Little Rock, where he lost to Jason Kubler in two close sets.

  1. First Challenger match, July 18, 2022.

In Georgia’s Rome, Georgia, he started as a qualifier and won six straight wins to advance to his maiden Challenger final, where Wu Yibing awaited. He continued to compete on the ATP Challenger circuit there. Shelton dropped another 100 or more positions in the rankings despite the Chinese rising star winning.

  1. Impact on the ATP tour starting on August 17, 2022.

Shelton won a match that made him famous in tennis in only his second tour-level match after making his debut in Atlanta three weeks earlier. After winning his first match against a player ranked in the top 100, against Lorenzo Sonego, he outplayed world No. 5 Casper Ruud to move on to the Cincinnati Masters third round. He surpassed the top 200 on the planet thanks to his thrilling run in the Midwest.

  1. First Challenger title on November 6, 2022.

Shelton eventually made it through in Charlottesville, defeating Christopher Eubanks, after suffering defeats in three previous ATP Challenger finals earlier in 2022. It enabled him to break into the top 150 and launched a strong run of form.

  1. 21 November 2022: Top 100 Cracks.

After defeating Aleksander Vukic in the championship match, Shelton went on to win 15 straight games, a run that culminated in him winning his third straight Challenger title in Champaign. He began 2022 at No. 573 and finished the year in the top 100.

  1. First Grand Slam quarterfinal at AO 2023 on January 23, 2023.

Shelton experienced a magical run at Melbourne Park on his first trip outside of the United States. Shelton had won 20 of his previous 22 games by the time he defeated fellow American J.J. Wolf in five sets to go to his first major quarterfinal. Tommy Paul’s run came to an end, but Shelton quickly made his top-50 debut.

  1. First Challenger Quarterfinal on European Red Clay, May 5, 2023.

Until 2023, Shelton had hardly ever played on clay, let alone the red European version. Shelton reached his season-high ranking of No. 35 after reaching the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger in Cagliari, Italy.

  1. 6 September 2023: US Open semifinalist.

Shelton technically hasn’t risen any higher, but live rankings predict he’ll reach a career-high of world No.19 after the US Open. In New York, he avenged his Australian Open defeat to Paul in the fourth round before upsetting Frances Tiafoe for his second top-10 win. Shelton will face 23-time major champion Novak Djokovic in his first Grand Slam semifinal.

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