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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday February 26, 2024

Ben Shelton

Ben Shelton edged Dan Evans for his first win in Acapulco. Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul both went down.

Photo Source: USTA

Ben Shelton went down to the wire with gritty Brit Dan Evans on Monday in Acapulco and eventually came away with a hard-fought 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) victory over the 33-year-old to earn his first win at the Abierto Telcel in Acapulco.

Tennis Express

It wasn’t Shelton’s most impressive performance, but if he lacked any sharpness he more than made up for it with fire. After sleepwalking through an erratic opening set, Shelton turned up the heat and rebounded, as he pushed back against Evans to turn the encounter into a physical contest.

There were no break points in the middle set until the 12th game – that was when struck, breaking at love to force a decider with the 33-year-old.

The final set was hotly contested as well. Evans, bidding for his 27th career Top-20 win against the World No.17, broke at love to lead 6-5, but faltered when serving for the match, allowing Shelton to break back to force a tiebreak.

Shelton kept it simple in the tiebreak and finally pulled away from Evans, winning three of the final four points to clinch his win in two hours and 45 minutes.

Arnaldi Tops Fritz and Draper Powers Past Paul

A pair of former finalists from the USA couldn’t see their way through to round two on Monday, as Taylor Fritz bowed out to Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi, 6-4 4-6 6-3, while Tommy Paul was sent packing by Jack Draper, 6-0 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Fritz, the 2020 runner-up in Acapulco, had trouble containing the shotmaking flair of the 23-year-old World No.42, and faced 15 break points over the course of the two hour and 35-minute tilt.

Paul fell flat in the first set against Draper, before recovering to make the second set a contest, but the 2023 runner-up couldn’t keep from bowing out to the 22-year-old World No.50. The matchup has proven problematic for Paul, who drops to 1-3 lifetime against left-handed Draper.

Elsewhere on Day 1, defending champion Alex de Minaur made light work of talented Taro Daniel, 6-2, 6-1, while Italy’s Flavio Cobolli toppled Felix Auger-Aliassime, 2-6 6-3 6-2.

Miomir Kecmanovic topped Diego Schwartzman, 4-6 6-3 6-1, Yoshihito Nishioka defeated Nuno Borges, 3-6 6-2 6-4, and Sebastian Ofner beat Mexican wild card Ernesto Escobedo, 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4).


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