After Ben Shelton's exit from the 2023 Australian Open on Wednesday (January 25), he was praised by a number of other players like Tommy Paul, Coco Gauff, and Denis Kudla.
Shelton, who turned pro last year, is just 20 years old and has already made the tennis world take note of him, courtesy of his run at the ongoing Grand Slam event. Appearing in only the second Major of his career, the American surprised many by reaching the quarter-finals. His compatriot Tommy Paul beat him 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and six minutes.
While the 6-foot 4-inch tall rising star was ranked 89th at the beginning of the tournament, he will jump 46 places to become the World No. 43 this coming Monday (January 30). Son of former tennis players Bryan and Lisa Witsken Shelton, Ben was the winner of the 2022 NCAA Singles Championship.
After today's match, the youngster took to social media to sum up his campaign in Melbourne.
"All the vibes from my first trip down under. This is one I’ll always remember," Shelton wrote on Instagram.
He was congratulated by fellow Americans like Paul, Gauff, Kudla, Martin Damm, Emilio Nava, and Ecuadorian Diego Hidalgo.
"Unreal stuff. Pumped to see you tear it up this year, decent first trip outside the states," Paul wrote.
"Absolute beast." Kudla commented.
"Just the beginning," Godsick wrote.
"Benny Sheltz is a bilingual beauty #bamos! Way to make Team Florida level 5 and above players proud," Damm commented.
"Man two Americans battling in the QF of the Australian Open, love to see it. Great run, Ben Shelton! Keep believing, Tommy Paul! American tennis, we finally taking over, better believe it. Congrats again fellas," Tiafoe wrote on his Instagram stories.
"I have the ability to be really tough on the court" - Ben Shelton on his takeaways from Australian Open 2023
Tennis prodigy Ben Shelton bowed out of the 2023 Australian Open in the quarterfinals with a four-set loss against Tommy Paul. Playing his first match at the Rod Laver Arena, Shelton battled for over three hours, with Paul winning 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
In a press conference after the match, Shelton weighed in on his learnings at the Major, to which he said:
"I've learned that I have the ability to be really tough on the court, to stay tough for five sets. I've kind of proven to myself that I can hang with a lot of people for extended periods of time out on the court. I'm taking that as a huge positive, not just my tennis level but my mentality out on the court, the level that I was able to compete at, and maintain it through the week."