Ben Shelton admits with brutal honesty how Jannik Sinner impressed him

The American tennis player, defeated in three sets by the Italian in the 4th round of Wimbledon, explained that he doesn't know how Jannik can play so well

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Ben Shelton admits with brutal honesty how Jannik Sinner impressed him
© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport

The highly anticipated Wimbledon 4th round between Jannik Sinner and Ben Shelton ended after three sets in which the Italian dominated first and then raised the level in the decisive moments of the 3rd set, tactically putting a brake on the tennis arrogance of his rival, inhibiting his left-handed serve, his best shot.

Sinner was able to manage all the situations very well tactically, even with unexpected solutions, such as the sumptuous tweener. In the first two sets, in fact, there wasn't much of a match with the Italian dominating. Only in the third set did Shelton manage to put pressure, but he played the important points badly. Shelton analyzed the match in a press conference, admitting to being impressed by the quality expressed by Sinner who, according to the young American, can also win the Championships.

"I don't understand how he manages to slide so well on the court without getting injured, I don't know how he manages to play with such confidence, his tennis is excellent, I see many opportunities for him to do something great here at Wimbledon in this edition. Maybe I was a little slow in the first two sets but I really felt that Sinner's ball was going very fast. Sometimes I didn't even see it. His service game is very effective, he moves very well, there were not many opportunities," said Shelton.

Jannik Sinner
Jannik Sinner© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport

Meanwhile, Sinner and his countrywoman Jasmine Paolini have qualified for the second consecutive Slam both in the quarterfinals. The two Italians hope that in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon they will also be joined by their countryman Lorenzo Musetti, who will play in a few hours against lucky loser Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. Sinner analyzed the incredible moment that Italian tennis is experiencing and said he was really happy with the results already achieved by him and Paolini at the Championships, before focusing on his opponent in the quarterfinals: Daniil Medvedev.

"We haven't crossed paths much with Jasmine, I saw her and congratulated her after the last match that she won. Obviously it's very nice to be two in the quarterfinals. And tomorrow there's another chance with Lorenzo. Let's hope to be three, so then there's more chance of winning. We're all very happy, come on. Jasmine is having a great season. Lorenzo has raised the level again. Matteo Berrettini is coming back. And all the others are playing great tennis. I think Italian tennis is in great hands at the moment. Then of course everything can change in an instant. That's why the more players we have the better. But we can all be happy at the moment. Daniil Medvedev? That's a different story. I expect a reaction from him. That's what I did too to get out of a negative streak. Let's see. But we're talking about a surface that is totally different from all the others, so it will be different for both of us.

Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner
Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner © Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

It's great to have won in three sets and be in the quarterfinals. I can't wait to play Daniil. Every match is a story in itself. In the Australian Open final it was like we played two different matches. I know it will be difficult to beat Daniil, it's a great challenge, but I work and prepare every day to play these matches and find myself in this position. The serve works well for me and, on this surface, it's the most decisive shot. I must say that I'm also returning great. The thing that makes me most proud is seeing that I'm able to give my best in the important moments of every match. I make the right decisions and, even if I can miss a few shots, I have enough courage to go and take the point. This is a fundamental thing for me," he said at the press conference.

Jasmine Paolini qualified after her opponent Madison Keys was injured, sharing beautiful words for the unfortunate American tennis player, who was unable to finish the challenge.

"I'm really sorry for her: winning like this is bad. It was a very difficult match, with many ups and downs. I'm happy for me but also a little sad for her: it's not easy to win like this. It was a roller coaster, many ups and downs. She played at a very high level and as soon as I started making some mistakes her level went up even more. Today was a complicated match. I didn't realize she was hurt, it seemed strange to me that she asked for the MTO at 5-4 and serve. In that change of sides I told myself to stay focused and active because the match wasn't over. Then I saw that she was limping. I was nervous, I hoped I could take advantage of this chance but obviously I was sorry to see her leave the court like that. She wasn't retiring for prevention but because she was hurt, and I was really sorry," she said.

Ben Shelton Jannik Sinner Wimbledon