Shelton famously introduced the telephone celebration at the US Open, immediately after beating compatriot Frances Tiafoe in the quarterfinals. With a hand gesture, Shelton attempts to answer a call but quickly hangs up. The celebration was an instant hit among fans on social media.
Shelton couldn't quite 'hang up' on Novak Djokovic in the semifinal, where the Serbian's big-match experience won the day. Instead, Djokovic mimicked the 20-year-old's celebration after winning the match. Djokovic later clarified that he 'loved Ben's celebration' feeling it was 'original' hence why he copied it.
Djokovic's actions divided opinion, but young Shelton didn't make a fuss of it after the match except for his father who criticized the 24-time Grand Slam champion for 'mocking his son' during a recent interview with GQ Sports.
Shelton has since witnessed many of his peers imitate his viral celebration in tennis matches. The likes of Lorenzo Musetti and Fabio Fognini have since hung up the phone after winning their matches. In Fognini's case, the gesture was reportedly directed towards Italy's Davis Cup captain Filippo Volandri who excluded the veteran in Italy's group-stage tie against Sweden.
At the Laver Cup Shelton saw Team World members mimick his celebration during his matches while they sat courtside. And now the celebration appears to have made it to the football stadium, where Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi debuted the celebration during a match while playing for French club PSG.
"You saw Djokovic do it, you saw Musetti do it, you saw Fognini do it. The guys at the Laver Cup were doing it whenever I won a big point. It's even gone outside the sport I saw, was it Hakimi? Maybe the footballer."
"I think he did it in one of his games, And I'm getting tagged on social media all the time, people win a game or win a match and they're doing this and hanging up the phone. I mean, it's pretty funny for me."