Australian Open: Ben Shelton introduces himself to tennis world

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Australian Open: Ben Shelton introduces himself to tennis world

The 20-year-old Ben Shelton is playing his first tournament outside the USA! The young gun scored two victories in Melbourne to reach the Australian Open third round and make his young tennis journey even more impressive!

Ben was world no. 569 a year ago, preparing for the spring season at Florida Gators that led him toward the NCAA singles title. Twelve months later, the Atlanta native is world no. 89, making his first trip outside the USA and turning it into an advantageous ride!

Ben's parents met in Australia in 1993, and his first trip abroad was to Down under. Shelton trained with Rafael Nadal in Melbourne before beating two rivals to secure a place in the last 32. Ben's first Major victory came against Zhizhen Zhang, prevailing over the Chinese 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 in three and a half hours after taking the match tie break 10-4.

Not stopping there, the young American ousted a qualifier Nicolas Jarry 7-6, 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and 38 minutes to extend his outstanding Australian Open debut.

Ben Shelton is through into the last 32 at the Australian Open.

Shelton and Jarry kicked off the duel with back-to-back breaks, and there were no more breaks until the third set's 12th game.

The American took the decisive points and delivered that late break that propelled him over the finish line. Ben tamed his strokes nicely and dropped only 18 points behind the initial shot, facing only one break point in the entire encounter and breaking Nicolas two times from seven opportunities.

The Chilean had a slim advantage in the mid-range and most advanced rallies, while the American erased that deficit in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes. Interestingly, the encounter between two great servers kicked off with back-to-back breaks.

After that, they settled into a fine rhythm and dropped under ten points behind the initial shot ahead of the tie break. A left-handed American fired a mighty forehand winner in the sixth point for a mini-break and won two points on his serve for 6-3 and three set points.

Shelton landed a deep return in the tenth point to force the rival's error and grab the set. Ben served well in the second set and missed a massive chance to clinch it before the tie break. Jarry faced four break points in the fifth game and defended them to stay on the positive side.

There were no more break chances in the rest of the set, and it went into another tie break. Nicolas missed a routine forehand at 1-2, and Ben cracked a backhand crosscourt winner in the sixth point for 4-2. Jarry sprayed a forehand error to find himself 6-2 behind, and Shelton converted the second set point at 6-3 to build a massive advantage.

The third set saw 11 comfortable holds on both sides, and the third tie break looked inevitable. Jarry served to stay in the match at 5-6 and sprayed a forehand error to fall 30-0 behind. He won the following two points before offering Shelton a match point.

Ben passed the rival who went toward the net and celebrated a massive victory that carried him into the last 32.