Ben Shelton and Tommy Ball give the US a 3-man quarter at the Australian Open
Melbourne, Australia – Next stop on Ben Shelton’s first trip outside the United States will be spot on Australian Open Championship Quarterfinals.
The 20-year-old NCAA champ from the University of Florida extended his stay for his debut at the University of Florida Melbourne Park By a draw 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory over JJ Wolf In an all-American match at John Kane Arena on Monday.
Playing in just his second Grand Slam tournament – and using his passport for the first time – Chilton has credited himself with being “energetic” and “gritty” Over the course of more than 3 1/2 hours he and Wolff trade big cuts and change of momentum on a hot day above 80°F (25°C).
And now, Chilton, ranked 89th, meets another unranked American, ranked 35th Tommy Paulwho eliminated the No. 24 seed Roberto Bautista Agut Spain 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 on Monday.
they join Sebastian Korda – His father won the 1998 Australian Open – giving the United States a three-man quarter-final in Melbourne for the first time since 2000. At the time, the trio was Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Chris Woodruff.
Shelton, Paul and Korda all reached the quarter-finals in a major championship for the first time. This is not the case, of course, for Novak Djokovicthe 21-time Grand Slam champion who looked indomitable during a 6-2 6-1 6-2 win over the No. 22 seed. Alex de Minor from Australia and announced that his troublesome left hamstring was no longer a problem.
“I didn’t feel anything today,” said Djokovic, noting that he had been taking “a lot” of anti-inflammatory pills.
Djokovic, who was unable to play in last year’s Australian Open because he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19, moved one step closer to a record-spanning 10th tournament in Melbourne by not facing a break point and taking half a dozen tournament wins. De Minor Service Games.
Djokovic moves into the match against the No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev. The Russian kept coming back, and kept coming back, and kept coming back – from down 5-2 in the fifth set, from facing a pair of match points while trailing 6-5, from a 5-0, 7-2 deficit in the closing first-to-10 tiebreaker — before finally bringing up the ninth Holger Ron 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9) at Rod Laver Arena.
Rublev won the title when his backhand slid off the netting and just, barely, reached Ron’s side of the court, impossible to reach. Rublev fell on his back at the baseline and raised his arms, as if to say, “Sorry!” – or maybe “Sorry. I’m not sorry!” – while Ron also threw his bat away.
“I have no words, man. I’m shaking,” said Rublev, who is 0-6 in a career Grand Slam quarterfinal. “That ball was right in my side and I don’t know how the ball went through.”
The left-hander, Chilton comes with a powerful serve that has produced the fastest display in the tournament to date, at 142 mph (228 km/h) during his first-round victory, an instinct to defend and a competitive streak. Against Wolfe, who played college tennis at Ohio State and was also playing in the main draw in Melbourne for the first time, Chilton faced only two break points and saved them.
Sometimes a little quiet early in the sunshine, Shilton grew louder and more lively as shadows crept across the blue playing surface and the score line increased intensity.
He would throw big letters and shout, “Come on!” or “Let’s go!” After winning on points, when the close competition came close, Shelton stuck out his tongue and bent his arms.
“It’s definitely a stressful game,” said Shelton, whose father, Bryan, reached a career-best ranking of No. 55 as a pro and is now the head coach of the Florida men’s team.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.