'Crazy For Me': Shelton Reflects On Year Of Development And Success

'Crazy For Me': Shelton Reflects On Year Of Development And Success

by Jordan Reynolds

2023 was a transformational year for Ben Shelton, and he has been reflecting on going through that process.

Shelton was recently left out of the USA Davis Cup team to play against Ukraine. This surprised some due to how talented he is, but also because of the results that Shelton managed to achieve last season.

The 21-year-old achieved unprecedented success in 2023 that put his name on the map in the tennis world. It began with a shock run through to the quarterfinal at the Australian Open, where he was stopped by his compatriot Tommy Paul.

After a dip in form in the subsequent months, Shelton dramatically rebounded at his home Grand Slam at the US Open. He progressed all the way to the semifinal before running into the eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Shelton's memorable season ended with a title triumph at the Japan Open in Tokyo. Now, in an interview with the New Zealand publication Stuff ahead of his appearance at the ASB Classic, Shelton has said that he had to get used to jetlag to succeed in tournaments outside the United States.

"When I was in college you spent most of your nights at home,  in your own bed. Now, I'm living in hotels, going from city to city. Jetlag is one of the biggest things, getting acclimatised to new places."

Shelton on jet lag

The newfound travel was one obstacle to overcome, but another was adapting to clay and grass, which Shelton had never played on before, which partially explains his post-Australian Open slump.

"Then you go into the bulk of the new season and I'm playing on two surfaces that I've never played on in my life. The Australian Open was a surprise and then I started to build my game on the other surfaces."

Shelton on clay and grass

Finally, Shelton also stated that he was pleased by how calm he stayed during those big matches at the US Open.

"I guess I was a little surprised with how calm I was on the court. I thought I'd be a bit more nervous going into the match. But honestly, it felt okay for how big the moment was." 

Shelton on nerves


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