Japan Open 2023: Ben Shelton defeats Marcos Giron to reach first ATP Tour final
The 21-year-old American is now one win away from breaking into the top 15 in ATP rankings.
Rising American tennis talent, Ben Shelton, demonstrated remarkable resilience at the Japan Open 2023. In an impressive display of skill and determination, the 21-year-old fought back from a set and two break points down to secure a thrilling semifinal victory over fellow American, Marcos Giron, ranked 79th.
The match ended with Shelton’s triumph, closing at 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-4 after a grueling two hours and 50 minutes of intense tennis competition at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo. Shelton, enjoying a standout debut year, reached his first-ever ATP Tour final.
Despite losing the first set in a tie-break and facing the brink of defeat in the second, Shelton staged an incredible comeback. He harnessed his resolve, breaking Giron twice to claim the second set in a tie-break. Ultimately, the 19th-ranked player in the world secured the final set 6-4, earning his spot in the finals.
Notably, Giron had defeated two players in the top 20 before meeting Shelton in the semifinals, besting No. 9 Casper Ruud in the second round and No. 17 Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals.
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Shelton’s remarkable performance in Tokyo places him just one victory away from breaking into the top 15 in the ATP Pepperstone rankings. His remarkable consistency is evident, with 13 wins out of his last 15 matches, a streak that commenced at the US Open.
Impressively, four of his last five victories have come against top-15 players, including triumphs against the 12th-ranked Tommy Paul and the 14th-ranked Frances Tiafoe at the US Open, as well as a notable victory over the 4th-ranked Jannik Sinner in Shanghai.
His journey culminated in a formidable matchup against Djokovic in the 2023 US Open semifinals. Shelton’s ascent in the tennis world is capturing the attention of fans and experts alike.