Ben Shelton issues response to Novak Djokovic's harsh criticism

Shelton asked about Djokovic's comment that he 'did not behave with respect' during their 2023 US Open match.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ben Shelton issues response to Novak Djokovic's harsh criticism
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Ben Shelton issued a pretty peaceful and calm response to Novak Djokovic's claim that he "did not behave with respect" during their 2023 US Open match. 

After sealing a straight-set win over Shelton in the US Open semifinal, Djokovic imitated the 21-year-old's phone celebration and "hung up the phone" on the rising American star. Although many thought Djokovic was mocking Shelton, the Serb later insisted he did just because he thought the celebration was "cool." 

But in an interview with L'Equipe that was published over the weekend, Djokovic revealed the real truth, saying he felt that Shelton wasn't behaving properly. Also, Djokovic described his action as "a reaction to a provocation."

Ben Shelton
Ben Shelton© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

After kicking off his Australian Open campaign with a 6-2 7-6 (2) 7-5 win on Monday, Shelton was asked to address Djokovic's comments. 

"No, I don't really have anything else to say on the whole US Open situation. I feel like I've been asked about it constantly in the last four or five months. I feel like I've said my peace on the matter. I would rather just let it settle and move forward," Shelton said when asked about Djokovic's comments.

Why Djokovic imitated Shelton's celebration?

After easily losing the opening two sets to Djokovic in their US Open clash, Shelton also found himself down by a break in the third set. But Shelton didn't quit, breaking back Djokovic in the eighth game of the third set. 

After getting his first break of the match, Shelton tried to fire up the crowd and pulled off his phone celebration. That moment certainly didn't go unnoticed by Djokovic, who still managed to get the job done in straight sets and claim a 6-3 6-2 7-6 (4) win.

Moments after sealing his win, Djokovic returned Shelton the favor and hung up the phone on the American. 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Mike Stobe

When asked to address the moment in his post-match press conference, Shelton insisted he was unbothered by Djokovic imitating his celebration.

Ben Shelton Novak Djokovic Us Open