First set: *Tiafoe 2-4 Shelton (*denotes next server)
Shelton double-faults, wins a couple of quick points, then double-faults again for 30-all. Pressure? What pressure? The unseeded American pounds consecutive aces of 107mph and 138mph, both down Broadway, to consolidate the break with style.
Shelton breaks in fifth game of first set!
First set: Tiafoe 2-3 Shelton* (*denotes next server)
Shelton is putting more pressure on the serve of Tiafoe, who goes down love-15, then 15-30, then 30-40 for his second break-point chance of the match. Tiafoe erases it with a 120mph serve that Shelton can’t handle. Deuce. Tiafoe then cracks a 134mph serve but misfires on a drop shot early in the rally to hand Shelton another look at a break. Tiafoe erases that one, too, with another booming serve, but another careless error off the forehand side gives Shelton another break-point chance – his third of this game and the fourth of the match. And this time he capitalizes as Tiafoe sprays a forehand for his 10th unforced error of the match. First blood to the 20-year-old, who erupts in jubilation in the direction of his box. He’s fired up!
First set: *Tiafoe 2-2 Shelton (*denotes next server)
Shelton wins three quick points, including his first ace of the night, for 40-15. But he follows with an unforced error off the forehand, then watches Tiafoe hit a forehand volley winner for deuce. First pressure point of the night for the 20-year-old. And he responds in style: winning a 13-shot rally with a forehand winner, then crunching a 139mph serve out wide that Tiafoe can’t return into the court.
First set: Tiafoe 2-1 Shelton* (*denotes next server)
A far more straightforward service game for Tiafoe. Shelton seems to be having trouble reading his opponent’s serve early. Have we mentioned it’s uncomfortably hot on Ashe? Temperatures of 84F (23C) with 63% humidity.
First set: *Tiafoe 1-1 Shelton (*denotes next server)
Shelton strolls through his opening service game. No sign of nerves from the big-hitting southpaw.
First set: Tiafoe 1-0 Shelton* (*denotes next server)
An uncomfortable start for Tiafoe on his serve. Shelton hits a backhand volley winner (punctuating it with a “come on!”) on the first point of the match, then Tiafoe follows it with a double fault for love-30. Tiafoe serves his way out of trouble with three quick points behind a booming first serve, but then double-faults a second time for deuce. Tiafoe settles a 13-shot rally with a forehand winner, but Shelton follows with a nicely executed backhand volley winner for deuce number two. Tiafoe then makes a careless unforced error off the forehand and will face the first break point of the match, but he erases it with a 133mph ace out wide. Deuce once more. From there Tiafoe wins a cat-and-mouse point with a backhand volley winner before closing out the hold with a 131mph ace out wide. Nervy opening service game for the No 10 seed but the desired result.
Hello and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium for tonight’s quarter-final clash between Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton. It’s the first time in history that two Black American men have reached the last eight at a grand slam and one of them is guaranteed passage to the US Open semi-finals and a date with 23-time major champion Novak Djokovic (who saw off Taylor Fritz earlier today).
The 20-year-old Shelton, the 2022 NCAA singles champion from University of Florida, has been the surprise package of the tennis season, surely on the US front. Playing in his second major quarter-final of the year in only his fifth career main-draw appearance, Shelton has become the youngest man to reach the US Open quarters since Andy Roddick in 2002 – and is looking to become the youngest to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows since Michael Chang in 1992. Armed with an explosive serve, he’s pounded a tournament-high 62 aces in four matches so far, including a pair of 149mph missiles in a single game during Sunday’s fourth-round win over Tommy Paul that are the fastest offerings of the event.
Tiafoe, the 25-year-old Maryland native whose extraordinary backstory has been well-documented in tennis circles for years, has dropped only one set en route to his third career major quarter-final, winning 83% of his first-serve points and crunching 45 aces against just seven double faults. His headline-grabbing run to the semis of last year’s US Open remains his career-best performance at a major and he’s keen on going at least one step farther this time around.
Karolina Muchova has just won 6-0, 6-3 over Sorana Cirstea to reach the women’s semi-finals in the first match of tonight’s night session, which means Tiafoe and Shelton should be on the court for their warm-ups shortly.
#Frances #Tiafoe #Ben #Shelton #Open #quarterfinal #live #Open #Tennis