With an easy victory against Alex de Minaur at the beginning of the second week of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic sent a message to his title contenders. At the 2023 Australian Open, the Australian was expected to be Djokovic’s toughest opponent to date. But he struggled on the grandest stage as the Serbian tennis player ran riot.
In a little more than two hours, Djokovic completed the match, losing just five games overall. Ben Shelton’s Grand Slam comeback continued as he defeated fellow countryman J.J. Wolf after falling behind 2-1 in the first set. The young American, who only turned professional last summer is playing in just his second Grand Slam match after making his US Open debut. Another surprise occurred earlier in the day when Magda Linette defeated Caroline Garcia in the women’s singles.
Only three of the top 20 seeds are still in the women’s draw. Which makes Aryna Sabalenka the clear favourite to take home the trophy. Jessica Pegula will also be confident in her chances, despite the American’s challenging quarterfinal matchup with Victoria Azarenka. Also Read: Federer, Djokovic and I Have Pushed Each Other to The Limit: Rafael Nadal
Bel Shelton Creating Magic at the Australian Open
Ben Shelton, who is ranked 89th, acknowledged on Monday that he was more startled than anyone by his success. At the Australian Open, where he played for the first time outside of the United States. The 20-year-old played fellow American Tommy Paul for a spot in the semi-finals. And became just the fourth man in the past 20 years to reach the last eight on debut in Melbourne.
Shelton prevailed 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in sapping heat against JJ Wolf. In another all-American clash to reach the quarter-finals in only his second Grand Slam.
“So I think it maybe has helped me a little bit kind of not having that expectation or the feeling that I have to perform, but being able to just go out there, be myself and play free. I think that’s been a big contribution to my success.”HE ADDED.
He joined just three other men to reach the last eight in Melbourne on their debut over the past 20 years: Russian Aslan Karatsev, Tennys Sandgren, and Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov (2021). Shelton lost in the first round of his one and only Grand Slam match, which he played as a wildcard at the US Open the previous year.
Nothing separated him and his friend Wolf in the opening set, with Shelton’s one break point the highlight as it went to a tiebreak. Set two also began as a battle of small margins, but Shelton got the first break of the match in game six when Wolf netted a volley then slapped a forehand wide, breaking again as Wolf began wilting in the afternoon heat. Paul advanced to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal by defeating Roberto Bautista Agut, the 24th seed from Spain, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Thank you for reading it. Leave us a comment if you liked it.
Have a good day ahead 🙂