Ben Shelton Reaches US Open Semifinals After Beating Tiafoe
It doesn't matter who has won the US Open quarterfinals in the Frances Tiafoe vs Ben Shelton match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but it has made history in the US Open. It was the first time two black men had a face off in a tennis match. In the US Open Quarterfinals, Shelton upset Frances Tiafoe, the world number 10 tennis player with 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2. This win made him book his semifinal clash with Novak Djokovic, a 23-time grand slam winner.
In addition, the Tiafoe vs Ben Shelton match was the first match at Arthur Ashe Stadium when two black men played against each other after 2008. And after around 20 years, an American male tennis star has won the US Open. Tennis fans enjoyed the historic match.
In an interview with CNN before the match, a former tennis star and now coach, Art Carrington, said, “This is something special, a cosmic event”. Further, he added, Shelton and Tiafoe are going to enrich the game.
In an on-court interview, Ben Shelton said, “I’m feeling like I left it all out here tonight. An emotional battle. Thanks to all you guys for staying so late. Hell of an atmosphere. And thanks for pushing me over the line. Talking about his 3rd topsy-turvy set, he said, "Sometimes you’ve got to shut off the brain and close your eyes and just swing. “Maybe it was a little bit of that down-set point, but it ended up working out. Some may say clutch, but I don’t know about all that.”
When a reporter asked him about his clash against Novak Djokovic in Friday’s US Open semifinals, he said, “It doesn’t get much better than that. “It’s been tough the last two matches, I’ve been playing Americans. But hopefully you guys bring it for me two nights from now?”
Who is Ben Shelton?
As an American professional tennis player, Ben Shelton holds the number 35 in ATP Single rankings as per May 8 2023 and 159 ranks in doubles as per 3 April 2023 ATP rankings. In 2016, he won the USTA Junior National Championship in doubles. By participating in the Atlanta Open in which he defeated Ramkumar Ramnathan, he made his ATP debut in 2022.
It was the 9th of October in 2002 when Ben Shelton came into this world. His father, Bryan Shelton, was professional tennis player and coach for Florida Gators Men’s Tennis. His mother, Lisa Witsken, was also a professional junior tennis player. His uncle and sister are also tennis players. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he was raised in Florida and completed his schooling from Buchholz High School.
In his childhood, he did not want to play tennis. Ben Shelton wanted to play football. However, his parents, even being tennis players, did not want him to play any sport. At the age of 12, he started playing tennis and his father, Bryan Shelton, coached him in playing this sport. And at the age of 16, he wanted to play college tennis. But he did not do it as per his father’s advice. In 2019, he played in the USTA Boys 16s and won the title match. Shelton ranked 3 in the USTA Boys 18s in 2020 and no 386 in ITF Junior.
It was June 2020 when he started playing collegiate tennis for the Florida Gators under the supervision of his father. Gradually, he kept stepping up on the success ladder. In 2022, he played in three challenger titles and ATP Majors. He had top 5 wins, including Ramkumar Ramnathan in the Atlanta Open, and Rudd in the Cincinnati Open. In 2023, he won the Australian Open Quarterfinal and US Open Quarter Final.