Shelton Refuses To Be Dragged Into Djokovic's 'Provocation' Claims From 2023 US Open Match

Shelton Refuses To Be Dragged Into Djokovic's 'Provocation' Claims From 2023 US Open Match

by Nurein Ahmed

Ben Shelton was asked for an opinion about Novak Djokovic's stunning claims about his behavior from their match at the 2023 US Open.

Shelton and Djokovic were at a crossroads after meeting each other in the semifinal of the US Open last season. Djokovic won their bout in straight sets and went on to lift his 24th Grand Slam title. It was an incident that happened after the match, which sparked mixed reactions from tennis fans.

Djokovic famously hung up the phone on Shelton - the young American's signature celebration, which he set in motion during his quarterfinal win over Frances Tiafoe. At the time, the 36-year-old Serb asserted that he liked the celebration because of its authenticity.

Shelton, who admitted to not seeing Djokovic pull the stunt live, was flattered by those words even though his father had a different opinion about it and even criticized Djokovic for being unforgivably cringeworthy and mocked his son.

A few days ago, Djokovic was quoted in an interview on L'Equipe where he changed his tune and slammed Shelton for bad behaviour before and during their match. Djokovic accused the 21-year-old of being provocative and unsportsmanlike in his conduct.

Shelton, fresh from securing his spot in the second round of the 2024 Australian Open, was asked whether he saw Djokovic's recent claims and whether he could elaborate on what exactly transpired in the locker room at the US Open.

"No, I don't really have anything else to say on the whole US Open situation. I feel like I've been asked about it constantly in the last four or five months. I feel like I've said my peace on the matter."

"I would rather just let it settle and move forward. We're in Australia now, and we're at the Australian Open and not the US Open anymore. I'm just focusing on the Australian Open and happy and grateful to be here."

After refusing to be dragged into the story again, Shelton was quizzed to give an honest take on his on-court behavior and whether he had ever intentionally tried to get under his opponent's skin and make them uncomfortable.

"I don't know. I feel like I enjoy myself out on the tennis court. Everyone can have their opinion on who I am or how I act. But, yeah, I don't know. I don't have an answer to your question."


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