Shelton Reaches His Maiden Clay Final After Sensational Comeback In Houston

Shelton Reaches His Maiden Clay Final After Sensational Comeback In Houston

by Zachary Wimer

Ben Shelton overcame a pretty inspired effort from last year's Houston Open finalist Tomas Martin Etcheverry to beat him in three sets.

The Argentine player played really well in Houston last year, going all the way to the final, where Frances Tiafoe beat him. He didn't get to the final this year because another American, Shelton, stopped him one step earlier.

The match was pretty good and competitive, but the home player delighted the American crowd by winning it. He's now only one match away from matching his father's achievement of winning the event.

The first set went to the tie-break. It's not a huge surprise because the court in Houston plays a bit differently than regular clay, and tie-breaks are seen quite often. Etcheverry played two last year in the final against Tiafoe, and against Shelton he won that opening set tie-break 7-4.

Both were dominant on the serve in that first set, but Etcheverry was a tiny bit better when it mattered the most. The second set saw Shelton finally step up as he dominated on his serve completely while using a really big serving set from his opponent to find a breakpoint and convert it.

Shelton broke early in the final set, and he was too dominant on his serve to lose it, but it happened. He broke first, but Etcheverry was able to take a 2-1 lead in the final set, as he immediately broke back.

The American didn't panic as he kept playing well, first making it 2-2, then breaking for the 3-2 lead, and then confirming it with a solid serving game 4-2.

That would be the end of the match as the American didn't let it slip away this time around, finishing the comeback off in style. The final score was 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 for Shelton who will now hope to finish the week by winning the trophy.


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