Monday February 06, 2023

Ben Shelton relishes ‘new experiences’

January 26, 2023

MELBOURNE: Ben Shelton now wants to test himself in tournaments across the world after his first time outside the US ended in the Australian Open quarter-finals Wednesday -- as long as he can keep up his studies.

The 20-year-old’s fairytale run in Melbourne came to a halt with defeat to fellow unseeded American Tommy Paul, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, at an appreciative Rod Laver Arena.

Now ranked a relatively heady 89th in the world, Shelton was down at 569th a year ago and at the University of Florida.

He is still taking online classes but his life will never be the same after his shock run to the last eight, in what was his first time ever outside the United States.

The young American, whose father Bryan was also a player and reached 55 in the world, is relishing testing his game on clay and then grass.

“Obviously new experiences for me playing those tournaments that will mostly be outside of the United States,” he said following defeat to compatriot Paul.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I have confidence that I’ll be able to figure it out.”

Before that, it will be back home and he needs to find a way to balance his tennis with studies in entrepreneurship and international business.