Rod Laver predicts Ben Shelton will be a Grand Slam title winner praising him for his massive forehand and mentality

Ben Shelton reached the semifinals of 2023 US Open where he was defeated by Novak Djokovic.


Rod Laver predicts Ben Shelton will be a Grand Slam title winner praising him for his massive forehand and mentality

Rod Laver, Ben Shelton (Images via Open Source/talkSport)

Former Australian tennis great Rod Laver has heaped massive praise on American teen tennis sensation Ben Shelton who shot to fame at the 2023 US Open. Laver has claimed that Shelton will soon win a Grand Slam title while lauding the youngster for his massive forehand and aggressive mentality where he does not let go of an opportunity. 

ADVERTISEMENT

It is worth mentioning that after reaching the semifinals of his home slam, Shelton also starred at the Laver Cup 2023 where he won three matches (One singles, and two doubles). While the 20-year-old beat Arthur Fils in his singles match on Day 1, Shelton partnered with Felix Auger-Aliassime to defeat Hubert Hurkacz and Gael Monfils

On Day 3, the youngster joined hands with Frances Tiafoe to seal the second consecutive title for Team World at the Laver Cup as the American pair defeated Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz. Ahead of the Day 3 match, Rod Laver asked his fans to shoot a few questions at him. 

As one fan asked who are his favorite young players from the current lot, Laver picked Shelton and explained the rationale behind it. “Shelton is the new player on the tour. We’re going to see him winning a Slam, he’s got one of the biggest serves, a big left-hander, he doesn’t make many mistakes. He sees an opening and he goes for it,” said Laver.

ADVERTISEMENT

Also Read: Roger Federer names Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz as dream players for next year’s Laver Cup after thrashing by Team World this year

Ben Shelton sees a bit of Rafael Nadal in himself

While Rod Laver ditched two-time Grand Slam winner Carlos Alcaraz, from the land of Rafael Nadal, to pick Ben Shelton as his favorite young player, the American sees a bit of the Spaniard great in himself. After his win against Arthur Fils on Day 1 of the Laver Cup, when Shelton was queried about the source of his fighting spirit on the court, the youngster it comes from the name synonymous with it.

Ben Shelton titles
Ben Shelton (Image via Instagram)

Ben Shelton said that he grew up watching Nadal and he might have got some of those traits (fighting spirit) from him. “I think at times on the court, the way that I love to fight, that I don’t give up, could be some traits that I saw or learned from Rafa growing up,” he said (via Tennis Majors). “He was one of those guys who replicated it every match, every tournament. You could only hope to have a fighting spirit like him.”

The 20-year-old American has always looked up to Nadal although they don’t have similar personalities. Shelton has reiterated time and again that he does not want to be a showman but wants to compete at the highest level.

ADVERTISEMENT

In case you missed!

Do follow Firstsportz on WhatsApp Channel