The Roger Federer-Ben Shelton connection: Why members of the Swiss legend's agency were seen in the 20-year-old's player box at the Australian Open

Roger Federer (L) and Ben Shelton
Roger Federer (L) and Ben Shelton (inset)

Roger Federer's sports agency TEAM8 signed a partnership with rising tennis star Ben Shelton back in August 2022.

The American youngster has gained a lot of attention lately on the back of an impressive run at the ongoing Australian Open. He put up remarkable performances to make it to the quarterfinals of the tournament. Despite the Grand Slam Down Under being the first competition outside the United States of America for Shelton, the 20-year-old remained fearless in his approach to his matches.

Shelton was ranked outside the top 500 at the start of 2022 and it only took him a year to break into the top 100. He is currently ranked No. 89 and is set to make an even bigger jump in the rankings after the Australian Open.

Federer's agency was impressed by the performance of the teenager as they rushed to pen a deal with him last year.

Roger Federer's agency's players

Roger Federer at the 2022 Laver Cup
Roger Federer at the 2022 Laver Cup

Roger Federer's agency, TEAM8, has acquired partnerships with several other players before Ben Shelton. Prominent players who have signed a deal with the organization include young sensation Coco Gauff and former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Petro.

Alongside the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Tony Godsick is also the co-founder of the agency. Both have had a goal to invest in emerging stars. The same has been reflected through the acquisitions of Gauff and Shelton.

Federer's agency members were in Ben Shelton's players box at the Australian Open

Federer's TEAM8 agency members were in attendance for Shelton's quarter-final match against Tommy Paul on Wednesday. While they would have been disappointed by the exit of their major signing, they had many reasons to be delighted considering how the player has made a name for himself in the tennis world of late.

Ben Shelton at 2023 Australian Open

Shelton at the 2023 Australian Open
Shelton at the 2023 Australian Open

Shelton commenced his campaign in Melbourne with a hard-fought win over China's Zhang Zhizhen in a five-set thriller. He then locked horns with Nicolas Jarry in the second round, whom he defeated comprehensively in straight sets.

Shelton produced yet another win in straight sets in the third round, this time against Alexei Popyrin. He then faced compatriot J.J. Wolf in the Round of 16. The two battled for five grueling sets before the youngster came through in the end.

Shelton's splendid run at the Grand Slam Down Under, however, came to an end against Tommy Paul in the quarterfinals.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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