Shelton feeling "pumped" ahead of debut Djokovic clash in US Open semi-finals

Tennis News
Friday, 08 September 2023 at 17:58
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Ben Shelton has said that he is feeling 'pumped' ahead of his semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic at the US Open.
Rising talent Shelton is the last American man standing at Flushing Meadows after he defeated his compatriot and tenth seed Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Djokovic ousted ninth-seed American player Taylor Fritz for the eighth time in his career.
The success of Shelton, an unseeded player, at this year's New York major is made even more surprising by the fact that the 20-year-old didn't make it past the first round of the 2022 edition of the Slam, although he did make the quarter-finals of the 2023 Australian Open in January.

Shelton weighs up chances ahead of Djokovic clash

This will be Shelton's first match against the 23-time Grand Slam champion, and he has been weighing up his chances ahead of the clash.
"I'm pretty pumped about the opportunity to go back out there and have the same feeling I have today against another really tough opponent," he said after his win against Tiafoe, "I've been enjoying every moment on court, the interactions with the crowd and the tennis that's being played.
The player also talked of the strengths he has that could help him against the tennis legend.
"I think whenever you play someone for the first time, someone who's been in this situation so many times and you know how rock solid the guy is, and mentally and physically tough, that's something I have to game plan for.
"I also think it's an advantage with my game style to play someone who's never played me. I'm going to try and bring some things to the table that are different and hopefully disrupt him," he said.
Shelton was just two years old when Djokovic won his first match, meaning this clash will be a battle of the generations. That has never been a problem for the 36-year-old before though.
Nevertheless, the American was asked if he saw an advantage in having had a literal lifetime to study Djokovic's game.
"The way things are on tour with technology, you can watch so much film on the people you're playing. It's a pretty even playing field," he replied.

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