Shelton Sees 'A Lot Of Positives' Despite Early Australian Open Exit

Shelton Sees 'A Lot Of Positives' Despite Early Australian Open Exit

by Jordan Reynolds

Ben Shelton may be out of the 2024 Australian Open, but he is still feeling optimistic about the future.

There are newfound expectations surrounding the 21-year-old this season after his swift rise up the rankings in 2023. His achievements last year included an Australian Open quarterfinal and a US Open semifinal.

Shelton played Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in New York last year, and would have set up a rematch with the Serbian in the fourth round had he managed to win. Djokovic played his best match of the tournament to progress to round 4.

This rematch would have been particularly interesting after the Serbian imitated Shelton's celebration after beating him at the US Open. Djokovic said the American had been disrespectful, but Shelton refused to get into a war of words about it.

However, the possibility of the two meeting again was ended by an inspired Adrian Mannarino beating Shelton in five sets. It was an incredible performance from the Frenchman, who hit some scarcely believable winners.

Yet, the result did not make Shelton downbeat. He recognized how well his opponent had played and was happy with his level despite the loss.

"Yeah, I mean, I take a lot of confidence from the level of tennis I was playing, not just how deep I went in the tournament. I think my level in this tournament, in these three rounds, especially the last round, stacks up against any match that I've played at any Grand Slam ever."

Shelton then made it clear that he is able to find the positives from his level, even when he did not go as deep as other Grand Slams.

"Obviously I didn't have the huge, deep run or result that I had at the other tournaments, but a lot of positives to take away."

The tennis world may not have gotten a Djokovic vs Shelton rematch, but it is possible we will see it again if the 21-year-old keeps improving as he is.


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