UTS fans know what type of tennis brilliance Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe are capable of producing. We saw it this summer at UTS Los Angeles by Builder.ai, when the pair went head-to-head in a shotmaking – and trash talking – extravaganza. The Mountain and Big Foe produced thrilling tennis for the L.A. die-hards and both are in the running for qualification for the UTS Grand Finale, to be held later this year.
This week in Vancouver, fans got to see the Americans in a different light, as the took the court at Roger Arena and helped Team World win its second consecutive Laver Cup crown.
Both Shelton and Tiafoe went undefeated, each going 1-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles, concluding the weekend with a cup-clinching 7-6(4), 7-6(5) victory over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz to give Team World an insurmountable 13-2 lead over Team Europe.
“It’s easy for me to play when I’m amped up and hyped and the bench has done a great job of hyping me up all week,” Shelton said on Sunday after hoisting the trophy. “I hope I’ve done a good job of hyping them up too. Playing with Frances speaks for itself, easiest guy to play with, most fun guy to be on court with.”
On the UTS stage and off, Shelton has proven himself to be an electrifying talent. Since we last saw him at UTS Los Angeles, he has reached the US Open semi-final and now, claimed the Laver Cup title while simultaneously catching the eye of Aussie legend Laver himself.
Laver was asked which young players have impressed him and he singled out 20-year-old Shelton as a future legend.
“Shelton is the new player on the tour,” he said. “We’re going to see him winning a Slam, he’s got one of the biggest serves, a big left-hander, he doesn’t make many mistakes. He sees an opening and he goes for it.”
Tiafoe played assertive tennis and hit one of the most dynamic shots of the weekend at Laver Cup, a splendid behind-the-back volley that he then segued into a winning point during his straight set win over Hubert Hurkacz.
It was more clear evidence that Big Foe is emerging as one of the most showstopping talents of his generation.
The Mountain and Big Foe weren’t the only UTS talents on parade at Laver Cup. UTS Frankfurt by Builder.ai champion Andrey Rublev aka “Rublo” was also on hand for Team Europe, as was 37-year-old magic man “La Monf” Gael Monfils, “The Hot Shot” Taylor Fritz, “The Ice Man” Casper Ruud and “The Rocket” Chris Eubanks.
Playing on the Laver Cup stage in Vancouver, UTS alumni once again put their talents on display and showed us why they are the ones who are pushing the sport forward.
We’re looking forward to seeing all of them on a UTS court soon!