Shelton Battles Through Entertaining Match Against Impressive Teenager Mensik

Shelton Battles Through Entertaining Match Against Impressive Teenager Mensik

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Ben Shelton had to show his grit to overcome the gifted 18-year-old Jakub Mensik at the Indian Wells Open.

The American has a habit of playing in epic matches. He brings a dynamic, powerful and unique style that often leads to contests that have the fans watching on the edge of their sets.

An example of this came in his previous ATP match in Acapulco. Shelton lost an epic three-set battle to Casper Ruud, who eventually went on to reach the final of the event, where he lost to Alex de Minaur.

The 21-year-old did have the ideal preparation before the Indian Wells Open started. Shelton and Emma Navarro won the Eisenhower Cup, which is played just before the event in California starts to raise money for charity.

His opponent for the match made headlines a couple of weeks ago in Doha. The 18-year-old had an incredible run to the final, with Mensik eventually losing out to Karen Khachanov.

Hence, Mensik's high level was not a surprise. He started the match the better of the two players, with Shelton having to save two break points in his second service game.

Mensik then did break through in Shelton's following service game. However, he immediately let that advantage slip with some loose shots to allow the American to break straight back in the next game.

Shelton then went up 15-40 in Mensik's next service game, but he could not convert those chances. That was followed by an uncharacteristically poor service game from Shelton. Mensik broke and served it out to take the set 6-4.

The second set was a much cleaner one from Shelton from the beginning. He served much better and did not give Mensik any opportunities to break. That allowed the pressure to build on the Czech teenager throughout the set.

Eventually, that pressure did tell. Shelton was clinical on his second break point make it 5-3. That was all he needed to close out the set 6-3 and take the match to a decider.

The difference in the final set was one really poor service game from Mensik. He played well throughout the rest of the set, but in the fifth game, some unforced errors allowed a ruthless Shelton to get the crucial break.

Shelton's big serve then did the rest. He won the match 4-6 6-3 6-4. This was a thoroughly enjoyable contest between two players who have massive futures in the sport.


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