This is a pretty big moment for Shelton because of several factors. First, it's his first ATP title, which you never forget. Second, it's an ATP 500 trophy, so it's a pretty big one to win for the American, and finally, it's just a continuation of awe-inspiring play.
He's arguably been among the 5 best players in the last month or so and that's speaking volumes both about his talent and skill. The match itself actually went pretty comfortably for Shelton.
Both players dominated on their serves for much of the match, but Shelton was simply better. After overcoming a bit of a nervous start, Shelton settled in nicely and outplayed Karatsev down the stretch to win the opening set 7-5.
He was pretty spectacular on his serve, allowing very little, and got a bit lucky with Karatsev hitting a wall late in the set to escape with it. For a good chunk of that opening set, Karatsev looked unplayable on his serve, but eventually, he lost his serve and the set.
The second was a bit easier for Shelton as the first's conclusion impacted both players. The American relaxed a bit while Karatsev became tense, resulting in several errors that gave away his serve early.
That was a disaster for the Russian as he gave Shelton everything he needed to calmly sail the ship home, and that's what he did. The final score was 7-5 6-1 for the American, who won his maiden trophy in Tokyo.
The win pushes him to number 14 in the ATP Rankings and number 14 in the ATP Race. As crazy as it sounds he's within striking distance of the Finals especially the way he's playing right now.