Does Tennis Run in Ben Shelton’s Family? All You Need to Know About the American Star’s Parents
Every year, tennis sees some of the best players come through its ranks. This year, tennis saw the rise of the American sensation Ben Shelton, who has stunned everyone with his heroics and is well on course to becoming the next big thing. At just 20 years old, he has surprised everyone and has shown immense potential since his sensational run at the US Open.
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That being said, the sudden rise of Shelton has made many wonder if tennis runs in his family. Who his parents were? Were they also professional tennis players? How did it impact his tennis journey? Does tennis run in his blood?
Who is Ben Shelton’s father, Bryan Shelton?
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Ben’s father, Bryan Shelton, married Lisa back in 1999. After that, they welcomed Emma, their first daughter, back in 2001 before welcoming Ben Shelton a year later. Today, Ben looks to emulate his father’s achievements and show the world what he can do.
Interestingly, Bryan Shelton is a former tennis player. Bryan spent 9 years as a professional player on the tour, after which he announced his retirement back at the US Open in 1997. His major career highlights include a finals appearance at the 1993 French Open in Mixed Doubles. Not only this, he managed to reach a personal best ATP ranking when he was ranked 60th in the world.
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After retirement, he took on the coaching job and back in 2012, he was announced as the head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Florida by the Athletics Director, Jeremy Foley. However, looking to emulate the success that he earned as a player, he made a massive record as a coach as well.
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Shelton became the first head coach ever in the history of DI College to win a women’s national title (2007) and a men’s championship (2021). However, back in June, he announced that he was stepping down as the head coach at the University of Florida and would be joining hands with his son to take his love for tennis to the next level.
“I feel like a little bit of a kid again. At this stage in life, to be able to start something new and fresh and exciting is incredible. So I think that those are the things that are probably pouring out of me right now. Just gratitude and excitement,” said Bryan Shelton after he got the chance to join hands with his son and take up the new role as his full-time coach.
Thus, the journey of Bryan Shelton has been nothing short of sensational. From being a professional tennis player to helping his son do the same miracles in tennis, he has been a role model to his son.
Who is Ben Shelton’s mother, Lisa Witsken Shelton?
Ben’s mother, Lisa Witsken Shelton, commonly known as Lisa Shelton, has enjoyed the limelight long before her son, Ben Shelton. Before being a celebrity mother, she was a celebrity wife, as her husband Bryan was a professional tennis player.
However, when it comes to shaping her son’s career, she has been a key element to it. Lisa started her career as a trained tennis player at high school. She showed immense potential and was the top-ranked junior player during her time. After high school, she took her love for tennis to the college as well. However, after college, she met Bryan and had to give up on her tennis hopes.
Ben Shelton’s father, Black man Bryan Shelton, was a pro tennis player in the 80s and 90s. His mother, Lisa Witsken-Shelton, was a highly ranked juniors player. Ben just turned pro last year and is ranked 90 in the world as of Aug 3, 2023.
— 🎾 Bagel Babe (@MsJLaw) August 31, 2023
Thus, despite her short tennis journey, she managed to show immense potential during the early stages of her career. Her love for tennis was rightfully embedded in Ben Shelton, as he has shown immense potential just at 20 years of age.
That being said, his mother and father have continued their love for tennis, which has helped Ben reach his current level. But, are there other members in the family who love the sport as much as their parents do?
Does tennis run in Ben Shelton’s bloodline?
With his mother an avid tennis enthusiast and father a former tennis professional, does Ben Shelton’s sister also have the same love for the game? Interestingly, Ben Shelton’s sister, Emma Shelton, also enjoys the sport, and she was seen supporting her brother in the stands while he made a dominant run back at the US Open this year.
The love for tennis runs in the Shelton family, as his sister is also a professional tennis player. Not only this, but she also has multiple awards to her name. While playing for the ITA and SEC, she was named the SEC Fresher and Newcomer of the Week back in April 2021. Adding to her tally, she also received the ITA Carolina Region Rookie of the Year award back in 2020 and is also a USTA Winter National Championship winner in January this year. For now, she plays for the Florida Gators where her father was a coach.
— Buchholz Tennis (@TennisBuchholz) April 29, 2019
The love for tennis in the Shelton family is unlike any other family, as almost everyone has been a professional tennis player. The same has been the case with his uncle Todd Witsken too. During his early years, he was a professional player who managed to secure an all-time high ranking of 43 in singles and 4th in doubles.
One of the most noteworthy performances of his career came at the 1986 US Open when he defeated the legendary Jimmy Connors in the third-round. At that event, he managed to secure a fourth-round appearance, which was his best result at any grand slam tournament.
I remember Todd Witsken securing his spot in #USOpen trivia history in 1986 when he broke Jimmy Connors’ 12-year streak of reaching at least the semifinals of the Open with a stunning straight set upset in the third round 62 64 75.
— Here’s The Rule (@herestherule) September 6, 2023
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He also held the record for the longest match played at a Grand Slam when he played against Greg Holmes in the second round at Wimbledon for 5 hours and 28 minutes. However, that record was finally broken in 2010 when John Isner faced Nicolas Mahut.
After turning pro in 1985, he spent 8 years on the professional circuit before hanging up his boots back in 1993. However, 6 years later, he tragically passed away due to brain cancer. But his tennis journey was nothing short of sensational as he managed to pull in some of the biggest stunners that the tennis world has seen.
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Thus, it is quite evident that tennis runs in Ben Shelton’s genes. His journey to being a professional tennis player is accompanied by the hopes of his father, his mother, and his sister, who have always been by his side to make sure that he makes it on the grandest of stages.