Ben Shelton wasn't bothered by Novak Djokovic's post-match celebration as the American said "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Moments after Djokovic sealed a 6-3 6-2 7-6 (4) win over Shelton, he imitated the American's "hang up the phone" celebration.
Djokovic's celebration didn't really sit well with everyone as some felt the Serb was mocking the rising American star. "I don't like when I'm on social media and I see people telling me how I can celebrate or can't celebrate.
I think if you win the match, you deserve to do whatever you want. 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," Shelton said when asked about Djokovic's celebration.
Shelton on playing against Djokovic
Shelton, 20, has quickly established himself as one of the most talented and promising players in the game. On Friday, Shelton got a chance to test himself against one of the greatest players of all time.
Even though Shelton didn't win, it was still a very positive experience for him to play Djokovic in a Grand Slam semifinal in one of the biggest stadiums in the world. "He's a guy who can compete at the highest level, has a similar mentality to me on the court, with how he wants to come after you and be aggressive and show his emotion.
It was really cool to see that matchup for the first time. Looking forward to hopefully getting it again," Shelton said. Meanwhile, Djokovic said he definitely wasn't mocking Shelton when he pulled the phone celebration. "I just love Ben's celebration.
I thought it was very original, and I copied him. I stole his celebration," Djokovic said of imitating Shelton's celebration. When the ATP rankings get updated on Monday, Shelton will be ranked inside the top-20 for the first time in his career.
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