Watch: Ben Shelton clocks 240 km/h serve 

Ben Shelton defeated Roberto Carballes Baena in Auckland

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Ben Shelton clocks 240 km/h serve 
© Hannah Peters / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The top seed Ben Shelton reached the semi-final in Auckland following a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Roberto Carballes Baena in an hour and 40 minutes. The American denied seven out of eight break points and stole the rival's serve three times to book a place in the last four.

Shelton sealed the deal with a service winner in the second set's ninth game, firing a 240 km/h bullet from his serve! It's one of the fastest serve we will see on the Tour in 2024, and the Spaniard failed to return it. Ben earned the victory in the shortest exchanges, with Roberto staying close to him in the more advanced ones.

Carballes Baena made a reliable start, landing a forehand down the line winner in the encounter's first game for a break point. Shelton saved it with a powerful serve and fired another to avoid an early setback. Ben played a crafty lob winner in the second game, offering him two break points.

The top seed converted the first with a rare backhand winner, securing an early advantage and moving 2-0 in front.

Ben Shelton finished his Auckland match with a 240 km/h serve.

The Spaniard responded nicely in the third game, returning the rival's booming serves and creating three break points.

He seized the second, erasing the deficit and finding himself on the positive side. Shelton struggled behind the initial shot again in the fifth game, playing a loose volley and facing a break point. The American denied it with a powerful serve and placed an ace for 3-2.

Carballes Baena caused problems on the return for the fourth time in a row at 3-3, seeking another break. Shelton erased two break points with a forehand winner and the one from his serve, holding for 4-3.

Ben Shelton, Auckland 2024© Hannah Peters / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Roberto served to stay in the set at 4-5 and faced a set point after not playing well at the net.

He saved it with a service winner but faced the second. Ben converted it after his rival's forehand error, taking the opener 6-4 after 54 minutes and hoping for more in set number two. Carballes Baena had to work hard on serve in the fourth game, denying two break points and staying in touch.

Shelton offered his rival two break points in game five, erasing them with winners and closing the game with a touchy drop shot. The Spaniard experienced a break in the eighth game after a costly backhand error, falling 5-3 behind and allowing the American to serve for the victory.

Ben earned a match point with a powerful serve and blasted another at 240 km/h to secure his spot in the semi-final.

Ben Shelton Roberto Carballes Baena