Ben Shelton, the 20-year-old American tennis sensation, continued his Cinderella run at the US Open by defeating fellow American Frances Tiafoe in a thrilling showdown under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
With this victory, Shelton earned his place in the semifinals, where he will face the formidable Novak Djokovic.
Shelton, a relative newcomer to the ATP Tour, showcased his immense potential with a display of sheer power on Tuesday night. His serves reached astonishing speeds of up to 149mph, leaving Tiafoe struggling to keep up. However, the match wasn’t without its twists and turns.
In the pivotal third set, Shelton faced two crucial tiebreak points and momentarily stumbled with consecutive double faults, turning a 6-5 advantage into a 7-6 deficit. Yet, the resilient young talent clawed his way back, eventually clinching the set and securing a 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2 victory.
Reflecting on his performance, Shelton expressed, “I think that was the key for me tonight. Just being tough and relentless, and knowing that I could go the distance physically no matter how bad it hurt.”
Despite Tiafoe’s efforts to match Shelton’s power, the newcomer displayed not only brute force but also finesse with well-placed shots. He capitalised on key moments, showing remarkable composure for someone with less than a year of ATP experience.
With this victory, Shelton sets his sights on the ultimate challenge: facing the world’s number one player, Novak Djokovic, in the semifinals. As his remarkable journey continues, tennis fans worldwide eagerly await what promises to be an epic clash between the rising star and the seasoned champion.