Who is Ben Shelton father Bryan criticizing Novak Djokovic’s call celebration in US Open win?

Ben Shelton showcased his technical prowess and hard-hitting flamboyance in the 2023 US Open. He defeated fellow American Frances Tiafoe in the quarterfinals before falling to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Shelton’s big game and speedy serves caught the attention of the tennis circuit, with many wondering where the 20-year-old developed his skills. Did genetics and great coaching play a part?, they wondered.

Ben Shelton is the son of 57-year-old former tennis coach and former professional player Bryan Shelton. The Sheltons have resided in Atlanta, Georgia for most of their lives with Ben Shelton honing his tennis skills under the tutelage of his father.

Who is Ben Shelton father Bryan?

Just like his prodigious son, Bryan Shelton played tennis from early on in his life. He attended Georgia Institute of Technology through an athletic scholarship, where he played for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men’s tennis team from 1985 to 1988. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1989, and was inducted in the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.

Shelton Sr. went professional in 1991 and won two singles titles. He achieved his highest-ranking in the ATP circuit, when he became world no.55. The right-hander also reached the mixed doubles final with Lori Mcneil at the 1992 French Open.

After retiring from professional tennis, Shelton returned to his alma mater to coach the women’s team. They achieved many success under his guidance. After more than 10 years in Gerogia Tech, Shelton moved to the University of Florida as a tennis coach. He officially retired from coaching in 2023.

Shelton Sr. married Lisa Witsken Shelton, a highly-ranked junior tennis player, and gave birth to two children – Emma and Ben. Ben Shelton was born on October 9, 2002.

Ben Shelton’s father criticizes Novak Djokovic’s call celebration

Ben Shelton’s father was not amused with Novak Djokovic’s celebration in his semifinal encounter with his son.

Ben Shelton had displayed an unique way of commemorating his victory over Frances Tiafoe, by mimicking a phone pickup and drop. Apparently, Novak Djokovic found the celebration too unique and indistinguishable to ignore that he copied the 20-year-old’s style after triumphing over Shelton.

“I just love Ben’s celebration. I thought it was very original, and I copied him. I stole his celebration.”, Novak said later on.

Ben Shelton wasn’t perturbed by any reactions of the supposed mocking of him and took it as a form of flattery.

“As a kid growing up, I always learned that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so that’s all I have to say about that”, he said.

Ben Shelton’s father didn’t echo his son’s reaction and instead felt that the 24-time grand slam champion was mocking Ben, and not imitating him as he had stated.

He felt the Serbian legend should have celebrated in his own style, rather than ridicule his much younger opponent.

Novak Djokovic went to defeat Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final, and lift his 24th grand slam trophy. The victory tied him with Margaret Court’s all-time grand slam record.

What do you think about Djokovic’s celebration? Was it in good taste, as he mentioned, or was it a jeer at Ben Shelton, as his father perceived it to be. Let us know in the comments section below.


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