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Ben Shelton: America's Young Tennis Phenom

Meet the 21-year-old who has taken the tennis world by storm.

Photo by Hameltion

Ben Shelton, an Atlanta native, was made for tennis. With his father ranked at World Number 55 and his mother being the sister of a former World Number 4 doubles player, there was no doubt Ben would follow along in their footsteps.

After two seasons at the University of Florida, Ben Shelton burst onto the pro tennis scene. While at the University of Florida, Shelton finished with 65 singles wins compared to only 10 losses. His first title came in 2021, as he finished with a team title at Florida. He went on to win the 2022 NCAA singles title under the guidance of his father.

Shelton decided to go pro after his NCAA singles title in June 2022. From there, he reached a top 200 ranking, before finishing out the year in the top 100. Shelton's career-high ranking so far is World Number 14, which he achieved after his win in Houston in April of 2024.

Ben has defeated top-ranked players, like Jannik Sinner and Casper Ruud. He has achieved his success all under the age of 22. At the age of 20, he reached the quarterfinals at The Australian Open, which happened to be his first trip outside of the U.S.

Photo by Hameltion

Most of Shelton's success has come from hard court performances, which is his preferred surface. A 2023 US Open semifinal run has been one of Shelton's best accomplishments, so far. He beat fellow American, Frances Tiafoe, in the quarterfinals to set up a semi-matchup with Novak Djokovic, who he would eventually fall to. But Shelton's fantastic serve and his work on the volley showed the tennis world that he is here to stay.

Recently, Shelton has looked to improve his grass court record, with a phenomenal five-set performance against the South African Lloyd Harris at Wimbledon.

Shelton won the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set in a tiebreak. The third set finished in Shelton's favor with another tiebreak. Looking to the fourth set, Harris stormed back and tied the match at two sets each. Shelton played his heart out, beating Harris in the fifth set in yet another tiebreak. The final set ended in a 10-7 victory for Shelton, who looks forward to the next-round match against the Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Ben Shelton's 6-foot-4 figure has helped him immensely with his serve game, which propelled him to 14 aces against Lloyd in the Wimbledon second round. Shelton has excelled because of his frame and his baseline play, which offers him powerful forehands and backhands. Shelton will look to beat the Canadian and move on to the next round on Saturday.


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