Shelton Not Thinking About Points He Has To Defend After Successful 2023

Shelton Not Thinking About Points He Has To Defend After Successful 2023

by Zachary Wimer

Ben Shelton had a tremendous break in the 2023 campaign, but that means that 2024 will be quite tough with all the points he has to defend.

Any time a tennis player has a great year in tennis, there is a flip side to that. They have accumulated a lot of points, and to remain where they are in the rankings, they have to defend most of them.

Quite often, we'll see players have these breakout years and then fail to do the same next year, resulting in a significant drop in the rankings. Rankings in themselves aren't just vanity; they matter because they determine whether players can enter an event or not and what the draw looks like.

Shelton had one of those breakout years in 2023, and now it's about backing it up this year. He already kind of failed at that in Melbourne, as he didn't defend most of the points earned in the previous year, but the prospect of having to defend points doesn't interest him much.

Speaking to TennisTV ahead of his participation at the 2024 Mexican Open in Acapulco, Shelton admitted that defending points doesn't really matter to him.

It's all about collecting points because, as he said, everybody technically starts at zero at the start of the year, which is the race rankings. The one that ends up number one is the one who wins the race, so all this talk about defending ultimately matters little.

"Everyone starts at the beginning of the year with 0 points. So I think that, it's really important to have that type of mindset, working from January to November, rather than holding onto the points from last year. Last year was a great experience for me, I did a lot of cool things, but I'm focused on 2024."

It's a good mindset to have generally, even though things obviously aren't as simple as that. One unlucky break can start a series of actions, but with the reputation he has already built for himself, Shelton wouldn't have a problem to even receive wild cards if he needed.


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