Shelton Ends Three-Match Losing Streak With Needed Victory In Mallorca

Shelton Ends Three-Match Losing Streak With Needed Victory In Mallorca

by Zachary Wimer

Ben Shelton started his 2024 Mallorca Championships campaign with a win over Rinky Hijikata, which sent him to the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 tournament.

The American also played in Mallorca last year, but it was a relatively short stay. This time around, the top seed had a first-round bye, and this match was his first one, and it was a match that came after three consecutive losses.

The opponent was an in-form Hijkata, who is solid on grass and generally a tricky player. The start of the match was solid for both players, as neither faced any issues.

Their serving was great, and both were just staying consistent. Shelton, in particular, looked very confident in his tennis, and he broke his opponent's serve first in this match.

It happened one game after the Australian wasted two break points, so it was a total momentum swing in Shelton's favor. After breaking, the American largely had no issues on his serve to win the opening set 6-4.

It wasn't the cleanest set from Shelton, but he was the better player, and it showed. The second is when he took over. Boosted by winning that opening set, Shelton applied heavy pressure on his opponent and got the early break.

He then got another break, as his hitting was as crisp as ever. By the time the scoreboard showed 4-0 in the second set, the American was already up to 8 winners and only one unforced error.

From there, it was relatively simple to finish the match, as the American looked very dangerous on these grass courts. He finished the match with thirteen aces, and that level will surely carry him even further.

For now, he's in the quarter-finals after winning the match 6-4 6-0, and his next opponent will be Paul Jubb from the United Kingdom.


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