The US Open has always been a source of inspiration and entertainment. This edition saw the American players making history at the event and Novak Djokovic claiming his 24th grand slam title. Djokovic faced two Americans on his way to the title, and both matches ended in straight sets. He did not face much trouble from Taylor Fritz but had a bit of discomfort while beating Ben Shelton in the semifinal.
Shelton was defeated within the three-hour mark by the Serbian. Djokovic’s celebration controversy created a stir at the event. It did not resonate well with Shelton’s father, Bryan Shelton, who said, “It wasn’t something he was doing just to copy Ben. It was to mock him. And that’s too bad for that to come from such a great champion.” The handshake at the net was also short and cold between the players.
Ben Shelton’s dad on Novak Djokovic copying Ben’s phone celebration:
“He wants to be loved so much, Novak…He wanted to mock Ben at the end. It wasn’t something he was doing just to copy Ben. It was to mock him. & that’s too bad, for that to come from such a great champion.”… pic.twitter.com/Lan7dLVXPi
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 15, 2023
After the match, Djokovic said that he liked the celebration and that is why he copied it. Ben Shelton responded by saying that winners can celebrate in whatever they want, and he feels like imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It will be interesting to know what kind of celebrations will happen when they play again.
Ben Shelton explains the meaning behind the epic US Open celebration
Ben Shelton was the home crowd favorite at the US Open this time. The 20-year-old already knows how to get the crowd to cheer for him. Shelton’s phone call celebration caught up quickly at the event as the fans began loving his attitude on the court. Shelton revealed the actual reason behind his dialed-in celebration. He got it from fellow American track and field athlete Grant Holloway, who does the celebration.
Holloway won his third World Championship title in the 110m hurdles. He is also a silver medalist at the event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Shelton has a lot of friends who are in the track and field events as they train at the University of Florida, and he stays at Gainesville. The celebration also reminds Shelton of his childhood in Atlanta, where he had a dial-up phone.
The fact that Ben Shelton started doing his dialed-in celebration as a nod to his 3x 110m hurdles world champion friend Grant Holloway who he used to train with down in Florida is honestly so cool pic.twitter.com/1QagMrk2oV
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) September 6, 2023
Ben Shelton is now ranked No.19 as he climbed up 28 spots after his heroics at the US Open. He had become the youngest American in 30 years to reach the semifinals in New York. Shelton will have to make more dials in the upcoming matches, as his form in the past two weeks has given hope to the Americans.