Ben Shelton Continues Rapid Rise, Cracks Top 100 | TBEN | Tennis


A year and a half ago, Ben Shelton was the No. 5 singles player for the University of Florida men’s tennis team. At the time, he did not hold a Pepperstone ATP Ranking.

Now the 20-year-old is one of the Top 100 players in the world. Shelton climbed to career No. 97 on Monday.

“It sure went fast,” Shelton said. “I’m going to take this off-season and take it easy, enjoy myself and also focus on some things I can improve on.”

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Shelton completed a stellar three-week run on Sunday as he defeated Australian Aleksandar Vukic to win the ATP Challenger Tour event in Champaign, Illinois. The southpaw became the youngest player in Challenger history to lift three trophies in as many weeks, having also emerged victorious in Charlottesville, Virginia and Knoxville, Tennessee.

“I feel pretty lucky, I didn’t expect to play 15 games in three weeks and my body held up,” said Shelton. “It’s encouraging for me that I can play so many games and be okay.”

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Shelton won the NCAA Singles title in May and hasn’t looked back since. He went on to record a 35-8 record on the ATP Challenger Tour, winning three titles and making three additional finals.

The son of former world No. 55 Bryan Shelton, he has also distinguished himself at tour-level events. In July, he battled John Isner to a final-set tiebreak in Atlanta, before stunning Lorenzo Sonego and then world No. 5 Casper Ruud at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati. Ahead of the US Open, the southpaw turned professional.

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Shelton, who started the season outside the Top 550 in the world, has climbed more places than anyone else in the Top 100. He has no Pepperstone ATP Ranking points to defend until June and is the youngest of 13 Americans in the Top 100.


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