Ben Shelton Eliminated In Opening Round On His Paris Masters Debut

Ben Shelton Eliminated In Opening Round On His Paris Masters Debut

by Evita Mueller

Last updated

Ben Shelton is out of the 2023 Paris Masters in round one after losing to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a close three-set battle.

The American has been in pretty good form lately but played a lot of tennis, which obviously impacts him. As young as he is, he did look pretty tired at times in this match, certainly compared to his opponent, who is always an energetic competitor.

As an indoor match, it was pretty close. Neither player basically had any chances in the opening set, as we only saw one break point. It happened on the serve of Davidovich Fokina, but Shelton failed to convert.

It was annoying for him because the tiebreak went to the Spaniard, as Shelton misfired a bit too often in that one. The momentum swing of that tiebreak saw Davidovich Fokina jump out to an early break in the second set, but Shelton wouldn't give up.

It's one of his best qualities, the ability to find his best tennis when he's backed into a corner. Not only did he break back, but he also broke once more and won the second set despite not serving as well as in the first set.

He did play a bit more stable in rallies, which made all the difference. The fatigue ultimately caught up with him as the match progressed. It was a long one, nearly two and half hours, and Davidovich Fokina was able to patiently wait for a few mistakes and pounce when it happened.

After losing his serve in the final set, Shelton never really pushed his opponent enough, though he came close a couple of times. It's a disappointing loss for the youngster but one which can be explained.

He alluded to struggling with balls yesterday on Instagram and will now likely take a break as his chances for the ATP Finals are gone. The final score was 7-6(4) 5-7 6-3 for Davidovich Fokina.


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