US OPEN By Gabriel Matteazzi
The young American Ben Shelton (age 20) is the sensation of the tournament, and this Tuesday he eliminated his compatriot Frances Tiafoe (ranked 10th) from the US Open with a score of 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7), and 6-2 in three hours and seven minutes, advancing to the semifinals where he will face the Serbian Novak Djokovic (ranked 2nd).
At 20 years old, Shelton achieved the most significant triumph in his still relatively short career and also became the youngest American tennis player to reach the semifinals of the New York ‘Grand Slam’ since Michael Chang in 1992. A left-handed player with a powerful serve, Shelton takes calculated risks and is not afraid to go for it time and time again, as clearly seen – and with excellent results for him – in his match against Tiafoe.
«Stay hungry,» his father and coach, Bryan Shelton, shouted repeatedly during this match.
After a successful college tennis career, Shelton turned professional in 2022 and has made a strong impact on the ATP circuit, even reaching the quarterfinals in the last edition of the Australian Open.
The key of the night was in the third set, where both players exchanged several service breaks, leading to a tiebreak in which Shelton showed no signs of nerves or lack of experience and played every shot with power.
«I feel like I gave it my all out here tonight. It was an emotional battle,» the young player said on the court right after the match.
Djokovic, a three-time US Open champion at 36 years old, defeated his fellow American Taylor Fritz (ranked 9th) in the quarterfinals with a score of 6-1, 6-4, and 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes.
«He’s won like 23 of these or something, right?» Shelton joked about Djokovic. «You can’t get anything better than a match like this,» he added.
The winner of the match between Djokovic and Shelton could potentially face the Spanish player Carlos Alcaraz (ranked 1st), the defending champion of the tournament, in the final.