"They don’t particularly like being in Europe": Ben Shelton could divert from American trend of being poor on clay says Frederik Løchte Nielsen

Friday, 12 April 2024 at 01:30
With Ben Shelton winning his maiden title on clay at the recent U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship, former Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Løchte Nielsen believes the youngster could change the trend of Americans performing poorly on that surface. Clay has never been a favorite surface for players from the US, but that could change due to Shelton's ability and potential.
Shelton defeated compatriot Frances Tiafoe in a thrilling final on Sunday. The 21-year old has risen to a career high of World No.14 following his victory. Additionally, he joined his father, former player Bryan Shelton, in winning multiple titles on the ATP tour.

Nielsen thinks Shelton's approach could see him succeed on European clay

Although it's no secret that American's do not like playing on clay, Nielsen believes Shelton could start a new trend. The former Wimbledon champion claims Shelton personality and aggression could help him overcome challenges on clay. This could culminate with the Atlanta native making a run at future clay events. It could even lead to him capturing the French Open title, a rare feat for North American men on tour.
"Historically, there haven’t been very many Americans who have been good at travelling,” Nielsen told Vegas Insider. “They don’t particularly like being in Europe, where space is tight and hotel rooms are small, and at the same time, they are far away from home for long periods of time. It has always been a thing, but Ben Shelton seems much more capable of it, and he delivers a full effort in every match.
Ben Shelton celebrates after winning an exhausting point
Ben Shelton celebrates after winning an exhausting point
“With the attitude, opportunism, and the serve he has, he will be competitive against most, and no one wants to face him. He is capable of taking the ball off your racket. Sometimes that means he doesn’t hit the court at all, but other times he can serve at 155 mph, and he hits winners at some crazy times, comes to the net, and makes the game a bit unpredictable and breaks the flow. I absolutely believe he can make a really good run in many tournaments – including Roland Garros."

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