Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, September 22, 2024
Ben Shelton stepped up in a profitable Laver Cup debut.
An assertive Shelton rallied from 1-4 down within the tiebreaker defeating Arthur Fils 7-6(4), 6-1 in as we speak’s Laver Cup opener at Roger’s Arena in Vancouver.
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Afterward, Shelton shared easy recommendation Team World captain John McEnroe imparted that helped him command the second set: step up nearer on second serve returns.
Because the charcoal-colored court docket is enjoying a bit slower than the US Open and the balls are fluffing up greater, McEnroe suggested Shelton to step nearer to the baseline to chop off the angle on his return.
“We were more focused on what serves I was covering, what position I’m putting myself in to take away certain serves and what I’m doing with returns on big points,” Shelton informed the media in Vancouver. “Early in the match, or earlier in the match I think I had a 15-30, and I sat really deep in the court, shanked a forehand return. Missed it.
“In these huge moments once I had second serves later within the match, due to what he informed me, I stepped in a bit of bit and had some big profitable photographs and attacking photographs off the return due to that recommendation.”
Shelton joins compatriots Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul as one of four Americans on the main roster with Wimbledon quarterfinalist Christopher Eubanks serving as alternate.
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A former all-American at Florida, Shelton enjoys the group power, warmed up for his match with Paul and cited three American mentors with serving to him navigated his Laver Cup expertise.
“The three guys who are probably on me and then most during the match were Chris Eubanks, Frances, and Taylor Fritz, guys who have kind of, you know, taken me under their wing since I have been out on tour, giving me advice when I have played players that they have played before,” Shelton mentioned. “So to be able to have them in my corner during the match, you know, top American guys, guys who have had great results this summer, beaten a lot of top players, to be able to kind of see how their minds work during the match, something that I haven’t been able to see before, was really cool and special for me.
“Now it is time to exit and cheer for my group.”
Photo credit score: Laver Cup