Shelton Shares His 'Unpopular Opinion' To Avoid 'Unbearable' Conditions On Court

Shelton Shares His 'Unpopular Opinion' To Avoid 'Unbearable' Conditions On Court

by Zachary Wimer

Ben Shelton would like to see more events schedule matches at a later time in the day, even though that's highly unpopular among his colleagues.

Scheduling has been a huge talking point in tennis in the last few years. It was particularly a big talking point last year after several players complained heavily about finishing their matches late.

The complaints are valid because nobody really wants to play tennis after midnight or close to it, but Ben Shelton disagrees when it comes to very special and rare cases.

The American is currently in Acapulco, competing at the 2024 Mexican Open, where he made a winning start, and he's been quite fond of the later starting time at the event.

Contrary to most events, the ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco usually schedules matches rather late in the day to help players avoid the heat during the day.

Even at night time, temperatures in the coastal city generally hover close to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), which are tough conditions to play in. Imagine having to do that while the sun is hitting you from above.

The later starting time also helps more fans get into Stadiums, which he'd like to see at some other events like the Atlanta Open.

"Hot take like Andy Murray.... Unpopular opinion: a tournament like Atlanta in the summer should only have night matches like they do in Acapulco, stadium here is always packed, and a few other tournaments. Would be better for the fans for sure, and probably end up with bigger crowds."

The late summer swing in the United States has a few events that generally feature brutal conditions. Atlanta, Washington, and the US Open give players a lot of problems during the daytime, so he'd like to see more night matches, especially in Atlanta.

Obviously, the draw at the US Open doesn't really allow that, but the event organizers in Atlanta certainly could do it because, as Shelton said, the conditions may become unbearable for players.

"Daytime in ATL in July is unbearable."


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