Ben Shelton salutes the three players who have taken him under their wing
Ben Shelton has paid homage to the brotherhood of the top American men in the game.
Shelton revealed that Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz and Christopher Eubanks have helped and looked out for him on tour and in the Davis Cup environment.
The 20-year-old American has enjoyed a great first full season as a professional, reaching the last eight at the Australian Open and the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.
He credits the senior pros with helping him settle in and feel like he is part of something greater than himself.
“The three guys who are probably on me and then most during the match were Chris Eubanks, Frances and Taylor Fritz,” said Shelton at a Laver Cup press conference.
“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.
“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’s time to go out and cheer for my team,” he added.
Shelton is part of a strong US contingent in the World Team at the Laver Cup, winning his first match against Arthur Fils to give his side the point in a battle of debutants.
“Really happy to see a red stadium right now,” Shelton said after winning his first match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the US Open.
“Yeah, I think the crowd really got me going in Canada. I know it’s not the US but thanks for the World support.
“I really wanted to be able to set the tone with my energy for Team World today and I think it went pretty well, so I’m excited to get on the bench and cheer on these guys for the rest of the day.”
Shelton’s win over Fils gave Team World the early lead in the Laver Cup and Francisco Cerundolo then doubled their advantage with a 6-3 7-5 win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Felix Auger-Aliassime gave Team World a third point in the final singles match of the day as he put away Gael Monfils 6-4 6-3.
American pairing, Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe, made it a clean sweep for Team World on day one, besting Fils and Andrey Rublev in a third set tiebreak.
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