“We are back, big dog” – Ben Shelton emulates his dad’s Wimbledon run with Federer watching him

Ben Shelton and his dad and coach Bryan Shelton // JANE STOCKDALE - NYT
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LONDON – As rain interrupted Saturday’s outdoor courts action, Ben Shelton was sending missiles all over Wimbledon’s Court 1. His powerful serve was even more effective under the fully enclosed retractable roof.

The North American left-hander beat Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to match the campaign of Bryan Shelton, his father and coach.

“We’re back, big dog,” Shelton said during the on-court interview after being reminded of his progenitor’s campaign, who smiled in the stands as he watched his offspring emulate him. In 1994 Bryan Shelton reached the round of 16 at the All England Club. In the first round of that edition, the American surprised by crushing in three sets the German Michael Stich, who was then ranked No. 2 in the world.

Bryan Shelton reached the fourth round in Wimbledon 1994 // Getty

And for the son to surpass the father he will have to get past Jannik Sinner, “surely on Centre Court”, as Shelton himself bet.

Shelton, who in this edition broke the record for the fastest serve in the history of the tournament with 153 miles per hour, has played the Italian three times, with a negative record of 1-2.

“The pinnacle of tennis is to play against the world number one in the most important tournament in the world. I’m very excited and can’t wait to play Sinner here,” Shelton said.

Federer, the special spectator

Shelton had the support of a very special spectator from the stands. Roger Federer attended the match with his mother, his agent and Tim Henman during the first set of the match, in the midst of a busy schedule of activities, interviews and business commitments in London.

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In 2019 Federer became an investor of the Swiss brand On, which then went heavily into tennis and in addition to Poland’s Iga Swiatek, signed the young North American on behalf of the Swiss.

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