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Young American Ben Shelton has a dream… and it extends beyond the court as well

American Ben Shelton is playing only his first full season on the ATP Tour in 2023. But the 20-year-old makes no bones about his desire to become the best player in the world and leave a legacy behind that goes beyond just the tennis court.

“I have full belief in myself that I can win Grand Slams, that I can be No 1 one in the world,” Shelton told his good friends Frances Tiafoe and Chris Eubanks on our new video “All on the table, tennis talk like never before” that you can watch on our YouTube channel. “And I’m not afraid to put in work whatever it takes to get there.” 

“I think it’d be cool to have a story not just on the court,” he said. “I want to be a champion in tennis, but look at Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Roger Federer. The stories that they have on the court, off the court, all the things that they have done that’s not just being a tennis player. I think that’s the coolest opportunity that I see in being a professional athlete. I want to be able to say something on a big stage one day and have it really carry some weight.”

Shelton’s big left-handed serve and attacking game style have already made him a player to atch ouot for in any tournament. But the former NCAA singles champion at the University of Florida, who is already ranked 35th in the world, says he wants to earn the reputation of a Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in their prime.

“I want to be one of those guys, you are scared of the type of animal they are,” he said. “Like Rafael Nadal, you are scared because you know that he’s been outworking you for the past I don’t know how many years, but every single day he’s doing things to better himself.”

“I want to be that dude in the draw that there’s not one player who wants to see me,” he said. “I’m talking scared of me, genuinely, like Roger in his prime – he pulls up to a tournament, everyone’s thinking about him.”