HomeTennisBen Shelton Makes Shocking Statement on Italian Open Crowd After Sebastian Korda...

Ben Shelton Makes Shocking Statement on Italian Open Crowd After Sebastian Korda and Sofia Kenin Controversies


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Ben Shelton got knocked out of the men’s singles event of the Italian Open 2024 in the Round of 32 on Sunday. However, he is still one of the biggest names from the United States, staying put in Rome because of his performance in the men’s doubles category with Alexander Bublik.

The American began the campaign by pulling off the potential shot of the tournament during his doubles clash. A day later, Shelton was part of a chirpy battle during his opening-round singles clash against Pavel Kotov.

While speaking about the Fora Italico atmosphere in an interview with the Tennis Channel, the former Florida Gator lauded the crowd despite the hostility received by his compatriots Sebastian Korda and Sofia Kenin.

The Ben Shelton-Pavel Kotov was unarguably the most entertaining clash of the men’s singles second round. After the two players trash-talked each other throughout the contest, Shelton even mimicked his opponent’s celebration after clinching the victory (as per Sportskeeda).

Despite the constant verbal altercations with Kotov, Shelton enjoyed the atmosphere. Unlike his clash against Alexander Bublik last year, this time around, the southpaw enjoyed the crowd rallying behind him. Being one of the best players on tour, the spectators’ change in behavior from last year is understandable.

“I actually played Bublik here last year and I was on the other end of it. The crowd was booing me and chanting for him. I was on the opposite end of the boos this year, in this match,” Shelton said while speaking to Prakash Amritraj.

The Atlanta native also claimed that the vibe at Court 2 seemed like that of a football match.

“It felt like a football match. They really support tennis here in Europe, they love tennis,” Shelton claimed.

In the doubles draw, the team of Shelton-Bublik will play the all-Argentine duo of Francisco Cerundulo and Tomas Etcheverry in the quarterfinals.

However, other Americans have had it difficult when it comes to crowds in Europe this season, not just in Rome. It makes Ben Shelton’s statement quite interesting.

Why Is It Surprising That Ben Shelton Is Praising the Italian Crowd?

Sebastian Korda was part of an intense second-round battle against Flavio Cobolli. Going up against a local, it was a given that Korda won’t be the crowd’s favorite. However, the crowd speaking ‘inappropriately’ about his loved ones was unacceptable.

Sofia Kenin was also part of a lot of controversy during his first-round clash against Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti. Apart from the crowd booing her from the moment she set foot on the Centre Court, the 25-year-old also directed a bunch of abusive words towards the chair umpire.

Danielle Collins too asked a member of the crowd angrily to keep quiet and show some respect during her recent Madrid Open 2024 clash.

With Ben Shelton not projected to face any Italian for the remainder of the tournament in the men’s doubles category, being the victim of the crowd’s boos is not something that the youngster has to worry about.

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