Shelton beats Tiafoe to win US Clay Court title

rugby07 April 2024 22:25| © AFP
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Ben Shelton © Gallo Images

Ben Shelton defeated 2023 champion Frances Tiafoe in three sets to clinch the ATP US Clay Court Championship in Houston on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Shelton triumphed 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the all-American final to become the youngest winner at the tournament since 19-year-old Andy Roddick in 2002.

The title is the second of Shelton's career and his first on clay – the left-hander had arrived at Houston with a 2-7 record on clay in ATP events.

Shelton's serve was the key to his win – he hit 11 aces and won 83 per cent of his first serve point.

He took the first set with a break in the 12th game but Tiafoe struck back, breaking to go 2-1 up in the second and confidently forcing a deciding set.

But Shelton, who had won the only previous meeting the pair in the US Open quarterfinals last year, never looked in danger in the third.

Shelton's first win on the ATP tour came in October, on hard court, at the Japan Open.