Ben Shelton wins his first event, grabs Tokyo

Ben Shelton

The last time that Andy Roddick won his first title, in 2001, he started to rise, and his first serve as well his forehand were massive.

On Sunday, in Tokyo, the young American Ben Shelton beat Aslan Karatsev 7-5, 6-1. Early on, when he started on the ATP Tour, the now 21-year-old was decent, but not yet. Currently though, his forehand and his backhand are much more consistent, and his first serve is harder. He is pretty good at the net, and his return is improving, month after month.

“We have been working really hard since the beginning to build my game and win titles on the ATP Tour. I made some deep runs lately,” Shelton said. “You see the great champions, they finish weeks off…I am really looking forward to this tail-end stretch of the year. I am looking forward to finishing the season strong.”

In 2001, for the first time in the United States, Roddick won in Atlanta, Houston, and Washington. Two years later, he won the 2003 U.S. Open when he was 21-years-old. Perhaps that Shelton can win a Grand Slam in the next  year, in 2024. He is really good, already.

Shelton still has some huge opportunities. He will play in Vienna, next week, and then in  Paris. He does have a small chance to play at the ATP Finals in Italy, the top 8, but in Vienna, he has to face the Np. 4, Jannik Sinner. That could be a brutal match, but Shelton is so enthusiastic. Even though he must be a little bit tired, he will jump into the court and race, super harsh.

Marcos Giron did lose to Shelton 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 6-4, but he was darn close. That was a positive weekend.

Alexander Bublik did win Belgium,  and he played terrific, but who about the 19-year-old Frenchman, Arthur Fils, who reached the final? He is very fast, running, and he can attack, early, but he needs to set up the points.

This was an amazing week from Gael Monfils, as the 37-year-old won Stockholm. He edged Pavel Kotov 4-6 7-6(6) 6-3, with his tremendous backhand. He has some super cool shots, everywhere. He might now win another tournament, but he look ecstatic…

Katerina Siniakova

Three of the WTA women took the titles, with Katerina Siniakova, Tamara Korpatsch, and Elise Mertens, who won his eight title, but only the six 250s. But that was very good. None of them will play the WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico, in the singles, but Siniakova and her partners will play with Barbora Krejcikova
 again, as well as Mertens, who works with Storm Hunter…

 During this week, I will talk a lot about Mexico, D.F., where I lived for two years, my first job,  in the early 1980s, with a newspaper, called “Mexico City.” At that point, I worked a lot with the politics, but I also loved sports, so I would go to watch, with my job, and also to talk to with the players. There was some wild matches, like in Soccer, the Bulls, and of course, the tennis Davis Cup. Soon, I can remember something, the stories, and why…