Ben Shelton Shocks Tennis World: US Open Semifinal Breakthrough
In a stunning upset, 20-year-old rising star Ben Shelton has sealed his place in the US Open semi-finals, becoming the youngest American to achieve the feat in three decades. His journey to the semi-finals took a dramatic turn after a devastating moment during the third-set tie-break against 10th seed Frances Tiafoe at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday night.
A Remarkable Transformation
Shelton, who is currently ranked 165th in the world, lost in the first round of the US Open exactly a year ago. Currently, he has made his first appearance in the top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. After a hard-fought 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 win, Shelton’s incredible transformation culminated in her reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal in her fifth major appearance.
Emotional Battle on the Court
Shelton expressed his feelings on the court while thinking about the exciting game and said, “I felt like I left everything here tonight. It was a struggle from within.
The Battle of the Third Set
However, Shelton’s road to the US Open final is not without obstacles. The man who stands in his way is none other than Novak Djokovic, who aims to make a record-breaking 47th major semi-final as he attempts to reach his 10th final and win his fourth US Open title to increase his total to 23 Grand Slams.
Mental Resilience in the Crucial Tie-Break
Shelton had two set points at 6/4, and the match went into a dramatic tie-break. At 6/5, he committed two consecutive double faults, giving Tiafoe a set point of his own. Two points later, Shelton won the set with a powerful second-serve forehand return that went down the line of the clear winner.
Shelton commented on his mental toughness during the tie-break, “Sometimes you have to close your brain, close your eyes, and just swing.”Maybe there was a small part of that down set point, but it all worked out in the end.”
Powerful Play in the Fourth Set
Shelton’s sheer power was on display in the opening game of the fourth set when he broke Tiafoe’s serve for the sixth time in the match with three clean winners from far behind the baseline.
Passion and Pressure on the Court
Shelton’s boisterous cheering energized the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd throughout the intense match, but Tiafoe, who is renowned for his entertaining on-court charisma, displayed a more reserved demeanor, perhaps feeling the pressure of being the favorite against his young compatriot and defending a semifinal spot he won a year ago.
Nerves of Steel
Despite having his serve broken four times, Shelton showed steely courage when it mattered most in the fourth set, conceding only four points. He got the better of Tiafoe, with 50 wins to 33 during the game.
A commanding show
Shelton’s performance included 14 aces as well as a daring approach to his forehand, which allowed him to regularly send winners down the line and across the court, whether standing at the net or far back from the baseline.
Shelton made his Grand Slam tennis debut at the Australian Open earlier this year, reaching the quarterfinals in his first match played outside the United States. But he had trouble maintaining his momentum at the start and middle of the season and only regained it when he arrived at Flushing Meadows.
The Impressive Journey of Tiafoe
Tiafoe, on the other hand, performed brilliantly and dropped just one set en route to his third major quarterfinal despite slipping to 11th in the live race rankings. Notably, he had beaten left-handed opponents 19 times in a row, including Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the New York Open a year earlier.
Ben Shelton’s historic victory and journey to the US Open semifinals
- Ben Shelton, a 20-year-old rising star, is the youngest American to reach the US Open semifinals in 30 years.
- In just one year, Shelton has risen from World No. 165 to the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
- Shelton’s impressive victory in the quarterfinals marked his first Grand Slam semifinal appearance in only his fifth major tournament.
- The match was characterized by a dramatic third-set tie-break in which Shelton displayed mental resilience to secure the win.
- Shelton’s powerful play, including his formidable serve and effective return, played a crucial role in the match.
- Novak Djokovic, a formidable opponent with numerous major titles, awaits Shelton in the semifinals.
- Shelton’s fourth set showcased his raw power as he broke Tiafoe for the sixth time.
- Shelton’s passionate on-court demeanor contrasted with Tiafoe’s more reserved approach.
- Despite being broken four times, Shelton maintained composure in key moments and hit 50 winners during the match.
- Shelton’s Grand Slam breakthrough came earlier at the Australian Open, and he regained momentum leading up to the US Open.
- Frances Tiafoe, the 10th seed, had an impressive run to the quarterfinals but ultimately fell to Shelton’s determined play.