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By Alberto Amalfi | @Tennis_Now | Thursday, September 14, 2024

Bryan Shelton has a message for Novak Djokovic.

You're a great champion, but your post-match mockery of my son was a chump move.

More: Djokovic Captures 24th Grand Slam Title

Moments after dismissing Ben Shelton 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(4) to reach his record-tying 10th US Open final, Djokovic emphatically hung up on Shelton mimicking the 20-year-old American's trademark celebration of hanging up a phone on opponents.

The sarcastic Djokovic gesture immediately went viral though Ben Shelton himself said he didn't see it until after he was off court.

In a new interview with GQ Magazine, Bryan Shelton, a former ATP pro who coaches his son Ben Shelton, echoed comments Nick Kyrgios has made that Djokovic wants to be liked.

However, the senior Shelton says Djokovic's post-match hang-up antics crossed the line into mockery and disrespect.

“He wants to be loved so much, Novak …” Bryan Shelton told GQ. "He wanted to mock Ben at the end.

"It wasn’t something he was doing just to copy Ben. It was to mock him. And that’s too bad, for that to come from such a great champion.”

The 24-time Grand Slam champion said the snarky send-off was all in good fun and a tribute to Shelton's celebration.

"And I just love Ben's celebration," Djokovic said after the match. "I thought it was very original, and I copied him. I stole his celebration."

Ben Shelton smiled off Djokovic's jab in his post-match presser saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

"I didn't see it until after the match," Shelton said. "You know, I don't like when I'm on social media and I see people telling me how I can celebrate or can't celebrate. You know, I think if you win the match, you deserve to do whatever you want.

"You know, as a kid growing up, I always learned that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so that's all I have to say about that."

Contesting just the fifth Grand Slam tournament of his career, AO quarterfinalist Shelton said he hopes he gets another shot at world No. 1 Djokovic.

Photo credit: Mike Stobe/Getty