Ben Shelton, an American, continued his fairytale run at the Australian Open on Monday by defeating fellow countryman J.J. Wolf in a hard-fought five sets. Shelton’s performance at Melbourne Park well above his own low expectations for his first time there.
Shelton, a 20-year-old American, has never left the country before this year, but he is making the most of his first international vacation by reaching the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam tournament in which he is competing.
Shelton said on the court, “It’s been a dream thus far” following his 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2 victory on Monday. “As expected, it was a really exhausting fight. With some mental preparation and self-control, I was able to play some of my finest tennis.” I couldn’t have won this match six months ago.”
Shelton, who was ranked No. 570 just a year ago, has since moved to No. 43 in the world and has acknowledged that his performance in Melbourne has well above anyone’s wildest expectations.
“Undoubtedly, this comes as a shock.
boarded the plane navely, “Shelton, who faces off against countryman Tommy Paul next, spoke to the press. “Right now, I’m in excellent shape. The past week has been one of the most memorable of my life.” I know firsthand how challenging it is to acclimatise to life in Australia after arriving from the United States due to jet lag, the hour difference, and other factors. I anticipated difficulty because it was my first attempt.
“Consequently, I believe it has helped me somewhat to not feel pressured to put on a show, but rather to walk out on stage and play without inhibition. Indeed, I credit that factor in large part for my accomplishments.”
After victories over Roberto Bautista Agut in sets of 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, Shelton and Paul join Sebastian Korda in the last eight, guaranteeing that three American men will compete in the quarterfinals for the first time since the year 2000.
Shelton lost in the first round of his Grand Slam debut at the US Open in September, and he struggled physically throughout the five-set loss.
In his four matches in Melbourne, Shelton has already played two five-setters, but he is certain that he can push Paul to the limit.
Shelton claimed, “Physically, I’m in a fairly good place.”