Ben Shelton registers fastest serve of US Open at 149mph as he defeats Tommy Paul to become the youngest American man to progress to the quarterfinals since Andy Roddick in 2002
- The 20-year-old American reached the last eight of the Australian Open this year
- Roddick remains the record-holder for the fastest serve (152mph) at the US Open
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Ben Shelton registered the fastest serve of the US Open at 149mph, as he came out on top against Tommy Paul to become the youngest American tennis player to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals since Andy Roddick in 2002.
The 20-year-old, who made it to the last eight of the Australian Open earlier this year, dropped the first set of Sunday’s game before emerging victorious from Arthur Ashe Stadium (4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4).
And despite his big-serving ability, the record fastest serve at the US Open is still held by Roddick, who hit a 152mph thunderbolt on his way to the title in 2003 – the last time an American man won their home slam.
It was sweet revenge for Shelton, who was knocked out by Paul at the same stage of the Australian Open in January.
‘I think it was straight adrenaline,’ he said of his two 149mph serves. ‘In any other atmosphere I don’t think I could get it done. I think my arm would fall off, but it’s feeling good right now.’
Ben Shelton, of the United States, reached his second grand slam tournament quarterfinals
At 20 years old, Shelton is the youngest American male to reach the US Open last eight since Andy Roddick in 2002
‘I really learned how to be mentally tough. When I was playing in Australia after a long week, I was looking at my box saying ”my legs are dead, I’m tired, I can’t go anymore”.’
‘I realised how important it is to believe in myself, believe that I can go all the way, the full distance emotionally and physically and now I have that belief here.’
Down two sets and 4-1 in third and staring at the exit, Paul fought back to prevent a rout but Shelton would not be denied, avenging his four set loss in Australia.
Paul was out smartly to a 3-0 lead but it was all down hill from there as the big-hitting Shelton blasted away.
Playing with swagger and energy, Shelton swept through six of the next seven games to snatch the first set and then dialed up the pressure with two late breaks in the second to go in front 2-0.
Shelton could be joined by another American, Taylor Fritz (No. 9) if he defeats Dominic Stricker
Shelton would put his opponent in a hole at 4-1 in the third but Paul continued to battle, loudly urged on by young superfan Eddy from Brooklyn, who has been in his corner all week including his comeback from a two-set deficit in the second round.
Paul would use two late breaks to win the third but there would be no way back against Shelton who held steady, breaking his compatriot to take the fourth set and seal the win.
Shelton flexed his bicep to the crowd after his round of 16 win. He defeated his rival with a 75 percent completion of first-serve points, blasting 16 aces in the process.
Shelton next faces the winner of the match later on Sunday between 10th-seeded Frances Tiafoe and Australian wild card Rinky Hijikata.
Yet another American, ninth-seeded Taylor Fritz, also has a chance to make the quarterfinals if he can get past Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker, who took out No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round.