Aggressive American Ben Shelton’s ‘Young-Kid’ Energy Receives Unpolished Assessment From 26YO Compatriot

Published 10/08/2023, 4:13 PM EDT

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The ‘curse’ of the Spanish soccer manager Pep Guardiola, not winning the Champions League again, is quite famous in the sports world. But now, the curse has been lifted as he has won the most celebrated trophy in soccer with Manchester City in 2023. A similar drought is being witnessed in American men’s Grand Slam titles. It’s been a 20-year-long wait, but Tommy Paul looks quite optimistic about US tennis with his compatriot Ben Shelton rising to the challenge.

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The current world number 12 had plenty of praise for rising stars in the American men’s squad. They have been doing quite well in the ongoing Rolex Shanghai Masters. Tommy Paul defeated Austria’s Sebastian Ofner (6-3,6-0) to take him through to the Round of 32. He will now face Arthur Fils of France. On the other hand, 20YO prodigy Ben Shelton is also through to the next round.

Tommy Paul heaps praise on Ben Shelton

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The stars of American tennis have all been women in the past two decades, masking American men’s catastrophic run on the court with their success. With women taking all the limelight, men have been struggling to get anywhere near to a Grand Slam title since Andy Roddick’s last major win in 2003. The reason might well be the dominance of the ‘Big Three’ in the last few decades. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, according to Tommy Paul.

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Paul is quite hopeful for this bad patch to end with the rise of Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz. He believes their collective success has brought on a fair competition in Team USA. Tommy Paul has faced the aggressive American, Ben Shelton, twice in which both won one each.

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After having a closer look at this young talent, he said, “It’s fun having him around,”in a post match chat with the press. “He’s definitely young. He’s got that young-kid energy, so it’s a lot of fun, especially with the group of older guys that we have now. I mean, it’s weird to call us older guys, but, like, coming up with Foe and Fritz, we just have a bunch of good players.”

Tommy Paul went on to add, “It’s cool to have that young guy come in and really push us. It’s almost bringing us together in a way.” He said he didn’t know Ben earlier, but when the 20-year-old first came to the camp, he impressed him with his skills. Will this set of youngsters fulfill the long awaited dream of American fans?

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Shelton – the future of American tennis?

The 6’4” ‘Mountain‘ of Atlanta looks to carry forward the flag of the US above and beyond. Ben Shelton is the youngest American to reach the US Open semi-finals, since Andy Roddick in 2003. He already reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year. Ben’s fiery serve is his biggest weapon. His talent is enormous but with little tuning and consistency, he can easily become one of the best America has ever produced in the tennis world.

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Team USA has witnessed several champions, be it Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi in the men’s team. Now, there has been a long gap after their retirements. But with the performance of these young players on the recent ATP tours, American tennis fans can surely be hopeful. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment box.

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Written by:

Sayantan Roy

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Sayantan Roy is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following tennis for almost 17 years. His sheer love and enthusiasm for the racket sport has been a major influence in him wanting to build a career in sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas

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