Ben Shelton Officially Opts Out From Playing 2024 Paris Olympics

Ben Shelton Officially Opts Out From Playing 2024 Paris Olympics

by Nurein Ahmed

Ben Shelton was among the favorites to lead the United States in the Olympics tennis tournament in singles but has elected not to play the Games.

The 2024 Olympics will take place in Paris, France, and the tennis tournament is scheduled to run from July 27th to August 4th at Stade Roland Garros. In the singles draw, 64 players will contend to win gold, silver, and bronze medals.

The Top 56 must earn their entry into the tournament based on their ranking. Shelton was in the running to qualify. Additionally, one nation is allotted a maximum of four spots to be taken up by their four best-ranked players in the Top 56.

The high-flying Shelton is currently the USA's No. 2 male player behind Taylor Fritz in the Race to Paris. However, he hinted at his possible snubbing of the Olympic Games as early as March during the Indian Wells tournament.

In a shocking announcement, Shelton told reporters that he was seriously considering skipping the event because it "messes up" his preparations for the US Open. His absence from the Olympics is now official.

Although Shelton has not formally issued a statement yet, the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the umbrella body responsible for regulating the Olympics tennis tournament, has confirmed this on its website.

Shelton is withdrawing to focus on the US hard-court swing, which begins on July 22nd with the ATP 250 event in Atlanta, played in his home state of Georgia.

The 21-year-old lefty enjoyed a breakthrough run at the US Open last year, reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal and entering the Top 20 in the process. With the clash of dates and change of surface, it will be interesting to see if Shelton's decision will be justified in the long run.

For now, Sebastian Korda and Frances Tiafoe will likely be the biggest beneficiaries in Shelton's absence as they move into the top four slots that will be awarded to the American players in the Top 56 to join Fritz and Tommy Paul, who are almost certain to play in Paris.

But there is still time for Christopher Eubanks, Marcos Giron, and Alex Michelsen to change that.


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