Ben Shelton’s dad gets involved with Novak Djokovic for mocking his son’s celebration at the US Open
Novak Djokovic had imitated Ben Shelton after beating the American in 2023 US Open semifinals.
Ben Shelton with his father, Novak Djokovic (Images via ATP Tour, Los Angeles Times)
American young tennis sensation Ben Shelton who has been on the rise in the past few months was on the receiving end after he was defeated by Novak Djokovic in the 2023 US Open semifinals. Shelton, who captured eyeballs with his unique celebration wherein he pretended to be on a call, was hung up by Djokovic after the Serbian knocked him out of the tournament.
There was a fair amount of debate on whether Djokovic imitating Shelton was right or wrong. Both players’ opinions were also sought on this. While Djokovic said that he found Shelton’s celebration unique and just stole it, the 20-year-old said that he has been taught from a young age that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.
Now, after several days have passed, Shelton’s father, Bryan Shelton has taken aim at Djokovic for mocking his son. He said that Djokovic lied about liking Ben’s celebration and it was purely a move to mock the youngster. Bryan Shelton also said that it was shocking to see a champion player doing such a thing.
“He wants to be loved so much, Novak. … He wanted to mock Ben at the end. It wasn’t something he was doing just to copy Ben. It was to mock him. And that’s too bad, for that to come from such a great champion,” said Bryan Shelton to GQ.
Ben Shelton’s dad is a proud father
While Bryan Shelton did not mince his words while criticizing Novak Djokovic, he fell short of words while talking about his son’s rise. Senior Shelton was pretty happy to see how Ben learned from his mistakes and came back roaring after a string of poor performances after the Australian Open. “Each loss only motivated him to work harder and to reflect and examine the parts of his game that he has to continue to improve,” he said.
Bryan also revealed how everyone complimented him for Ben’s humble behavior with everyone involved behind the scenes in the tournament in New York. “They said that Ben takes the time to give to every single one of their staff members and people that work the event, the fans and the kids…. As a father, you appreciate that even more than the wins or success or anything else on the court. That’s what matters most,” revealed Bryan.
Having made it to the semifinals in his home slam, Ben Shelton will now represent Team World at the Laver Cup in Vancouver Canada. The 20-year-old has found a place alongside Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, and Taylor Fritz.
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