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Ben Shelton’s Painful Shoulder and Slower Serve Speeds Harm Throughout a French Open Loss

Jean-Francois Badias Ben Shelton of the U.S. reacts after missing a shot against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias) PARIS (AP) — Ben Shelton compared himself to a Major League Baseball left-hander after

Jean-Francois Badias Ben Shelton of the U.S. reacts after missing a shot against Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias) PARIS (AP) — Ben Shelton compared himself to a Major League Baseball left-hander after

Jean-Francois Badias

Jean-Francois Badias

Ben Shelton of the U.S. reacts after lacking a shot towards Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime throughout their third spherical match of the French Open tennis event on the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2024. (AP Photograph/Jean-Francois Badias)

PARIS (AP) — Ben Shelton in contrast himself to a Main League Baseball left-hander after a painful shoulder prevented him from taking part in his greatest in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 third-round loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the French Open that concluded on Saturday after being suspended an evening earlier because of rain.

“Felix simply performed approach too properly at present. Even when I didn’t have no matter I had happening, it could have been a tricky one to get by, with the best way he was taking part in,” stated the Fifteenth-seeded Shelton, a 21-year-old American who reached the U.S. Open semifinals and Australian Open quarterfinals final yr.

“I simply really feel like a pitcher who’s thrown too many pitches, approach over his pitch depend,” he stated. “A whole lot of rain delays. A whole lot of on and off. All people’s coping with it, not simply me.”

Shelton was down 5-4 within the opening set towards No. 21 Auger-Aliassime at Courtroom 14 on Friday evening when play was suspended. The resumption of the match on Saturday shifted to Courtroom Suzanne Lenglen, one in every of two arenas at Roland Garros with a retractable roof, permitting them to play at the same time as showers plagued the clay-court event for the fifth day in a row.

“Enjoying a set final evening with soaked balls, muddy balls, it type of simply, I assume, aggravated my shoulder slightly bit,” Shelton stated. “However I went on the market and did what I may at present and gave 100%.”

His exit was adopted a number of hours later by that of one other American, No. 14 Tommy Paul, who was crushed by No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. That left one U.S. man left within the bracket: No. 12 Taylor Fritz, who outlasted unseeded Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 5-7, 6-3 at evening to earn a debut look within the fourth spherical in Paris.

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Fritz, who has been to the quarterfinals at every of the opposite three majors, is the primary participant from his nation to achieve the lads’s spherical of 16 at Roland Garros since 2020.

“With my seeding and the way I have been taking part in, I actually anticipate it. … It is, I assume, an enormous aid to get thus far, as a result of it is one thing that I wished rather a lot,” stated Fritz, who now meets No. 7 Casper Ruud, the runner-up on the French Open every of the previous two years.

It was clear through the restart of Shelton’s match that he was not in a position to produce his traditional high-powered serves — even earlier than his left shoulder was massaged by a coach. Auger-Aliassime, a Canadian who obtained to the U.S. Open semifinals in 2021, claimed Saturday’s preliminary 5 video games to shut out the opening set and lead 4-0 within the subsequent.

“I felt like my intentions have been clear, and my execution was proper, and I used to be in a position to do what I wished to do,” stated Auger-Aliassime, who now performs No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz, “and on the identical time, get free factors from his aspect and in a position to return his serve fairly properly.”

Shelton, in his second full season on the pro tour after successful an NCAA championship on the College of Florida, had just one ace over the past two units mixed, whereas his high serve pace dropped considerably, going from 137 mph (221 kph) within the first set to 123 mph (199 kph) within the second.

He didn’t think about retiring from the match, although.

“I imply, I may go on the market. I may play tennis. I may put the ball within the court docket. Positive, I had slightly little bit of ache. However I’m going to go on the market and play. This sport is one the place you see that occur rather a lot — matches cease — however except I can not rise up to the road and hit the ball within the court docket, I am not going to cease, as a result of I am not going to remove from the man that I’m taking part in,” Shelton stated. “I don’t need to take a win from him when it’s 100% a win he deserves. There needs to be no asterisk subsequent to this match. He went on the market and he beat me. It by no means went by my thoughts to cease.”

He doesn’t suppose he’ll miss any motion due to the shoulder.

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Shelton nonetheless plans to enter the grass-court occasion at Stuttgart, Germany, that begins on June 10, as he begins preparation forward of Wimbledon.

“I’m not too anxious about this,” he stated. “When a pitcher goes over his depend, it isn’t like his season’s over. I’ll be again in Stuttgart.”

___

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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