After what has been a fairy tale run for the 20-year-old, Ben Shelton has officially entered the top 50 tennis players in the world.
Shelton currently sits at 44th in the world after his five-round journey in the Australian open. The updated ATP rankings now has ten American males ranked in the top 50. 25-year-old Taylor Fritz leads the pack at number eight.
Traveling outside of the U.S. for the first time, Shelton took on his second major tournament at the The Australian Open. After winning the singles national championship at UF last May, Shelton quickly turned pro.
While his underwhelming performance in the U.S. Open left him outside of the Top-500 in ATP ranking, he took strides to move up more than 450 spots in under a year.
Shelton won the first round match of the Australian open in a five-set battle against Zhang Zhizhen. Shelton swept both the second and third round matches against Nicolas Jarry and Alexei Popryin respectively.
In the fourth round, Shelton faced off against J.J. Wolf. The back-and-forth contest consisted of three tiebreaking sets with two of them in Wolf’s favor. Shelton took the fifth set 6-2, becoming the first American under 21 years of age to reach a major quarter-final in 20 years.
The quarter-final round pinned Shelton against Tommy Paul. Shelton lost the first two sets, and despite winning the third, lost the round 6-4 in the fourth set.
Notably, Shelton dominated in aces 24-7 against, showing a great serving performance in the round.
Shelton’s youth was nothing short of substantial to his career. Being born to two-title winning ATP Tour professional, Bryan Shelton, Ben grew up with a racket in hand.
The lefty has risen very quickly through the ranks and showed potential against players with over 6 years of professional experiences on him.