Ben Shelton presents himself to the tennis world during the Australian Open

Embed from Getty Images

Ben Shelton, age 20, is competing in his first event outside of the United States. The young pro won twice in Melbourne to go to the third round of the Australian Open and further highlight his amazing tennis career!

When Ben was getting ready for the Florida Gators’ spring season, which helped him win the NCAA singles title, he was ranked as high as 569 in the world. Twelve months later, the Atlanta native is ranked 89th in the world after successfully completing his first journey outside of the United States!

Australia was the destination of Ben’s first journey overseas after his parents got married there in 1993. Shelton worked out in Melbourne with Rafael Nadal before defeating two opponents to advance to the round of 32. Ben defeated Zhizhen Zhang in his maiden Major match, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 in three and a half hours after winning the tie break 10-4.

In order to continue his impressive Australian Open debut, the young American defeated qualifier Nicolas Jarry 7-6, 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and 38 minutes.

Ben Shelton has advanced to the Australian Open’s round of 32.

Back-to-back breaks from Shelton and Jarry started the match; thereafter, there were none until the 12th game of the third set.

The American scored the winning points and made the late surge that carried him across the line. Ben controlled his strokes well and only lost 18 points after the opening shot. He only faced one break point throughout the match and broke Nicolas twice out of seven chances.

The American overcame a tiny deficit in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, while the Chilean maintained a slight advantage in the middle and most advanced rallies. It’s interesting that the confrontation between two excellent servers began with back-to-back breaks.

After that, they found a good flow and lost less than ten points to the opening shot before the tie-breaking period. A left-handed American gained two points on his service for a mini-break and a 6-3 lead as well as three set opportunities in the sixth point with a powerful forehand winner.

In the tenth point, Shelton used a deep return to force the opponent’s error and win the set. Ben did a good job of serving in the second set but blew a huge opportunity to win it before the tie break. In the sixth game, Jarry faced four break points and successfully blocked them to maintain his winning streak.

The remaining portion of the set saw no additional break opportunities, resulting in a second tie break. Ben scored a backhand crosscourt winner in the sixth point to make it 4-2, and Nicolas missed a routine forehand at 1-2. When Jarry sprayed a forehand mistake and fell down 6-2, Shelton converted the second set point at 6-3 to take a commanding lead.

There were 11 comfortable holds in the third set for both teams, and a third tie break appeared inescapable. At 5-6 in the match, Jarry had a serve to stay in it, but he sprayed a forehand error and lost 30-0. Before giving Shelton a match point, he won the next two points.

Ben overtook his opponent as he moved near the goal, winning easily and moving on to the round of 32.