One of the real surprises of the Australian Open 2023 was undoubtedly the young Ben Shelton. The US born in 2002 surprisingly reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne. After beating Zhang Zhizhen, Nicolas Jarry, Alexei Popyrin and Jeffrey John Wolf in that order, he had to surrender in the quarterfinals in the derby against Tommy Paul in four decidedly tight sets.
Despite this, Shelton can be considered absolutely satisfied to have reached the second week of his first participation in a Slam. In an interview with Eurosport, former tennis player Tim Henman wanted to praise the young American who managed to go from number 500 in the world to the top 50 in a short time.
Henman told: “It was his first slam, he made it to the quarterfinals. He was number 500 in the world, I think in May, and now he’s about to enter the top 50. It’s an incredible improvement.” He then added that the good American players like Shelton are important to the ATP movement: “He has a great team around him, led by his parents and athletic genes.
It’s extremely exciting and important to our game. American players are important to our sport. It will be a nightmare to play against him.”
Ben Shelton’s game according to Tin Henman
Tim Henman then focused on Ben Shelton’s play, speaking of his rough but effective play: “You don’t get to the quarter-finals in Australia without being a good opponent.
The exciting thing is that his game is so raw. There are so many areas to look at.” Henman then talked about Ben Shelton’s volleying technique, saying that it’s pretty ordinary, but if used more it can be an important weapon against other tennis players: “John McEnroe, was referring to his return to the point of service, is far behind in the court, his volley technique is actually pretty ordinary.
But if you’re behind a 140 mph serve, you’ll get easy volleys. The more he puts himself in that position, the more he will be able to impose his undoubted playing power on his opponents, he will be a nightmare to play against.”
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