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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday August 17, 2022

NCAA men’s singles champion Ben Shelton didn’t have a lot of experience on the ATP Tour – literally, none – until this summer, but now that he’s had a few tournaments under his belt he is looking like a player that can have an excellent pro career.

Tennis Express

How good? Maybe let’s hold off on speculating and simply watch him play his next match…


Shelton, who just completed his sophomore year at the University of Florida, upset world No.5 Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach his first maiden Masters 1000 round of 16. This monumental upset came just a day after he took out Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego for his first Masters win.

His father is Bryan Shelton, a former ATP player who ranked 55, and the current coach of his son at the University of Florida.

The younger Shelton is just four matches into his ATP career, but he's already learned that the competition is stiff at the sport's highest level.

"I'm finding that everybody out here is a great player," he said. "The margins are definitely really small in every match between players, so I think that the little details, preparation, how you take care of your body is really important and it makes a huge difference."


Next on Shelton's hit list? Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

Shelton, a hard-serving southpaw who is 6’4” tall, didn’t face a single break point against Ruud on Wednesday as he dropped just eight points on serve.

The World No.229 scooped up his first ATP win at Atlanta earlier this summer (in his first ATP event). Last week he played the final of the Chicago challenger.

After he defeated Murray on Wednesday, Norrie admitted that he was curious to find out more about Shelton, and said that he would definitely be scouting his match against Ruud.

“I want to see Ben play,” said Norrie, who was also an NCAA tennis player, and a three-time All American at TCU. “I’ve heard a lot about his play – big serve, big forehand.”

The two college stars will now provide a nice showcase for college tennis on the big stage in Cincinnati on Thursday – and Norrie will surely have his hands full with the rising Gator.

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