Ben Shelton is making the most of his first international trip. The #NextGenATP American, who had never left the United States before the start of the season, advanced to the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday with a 7-6(3), 7-6(3), 7-5 victory against Nicolas Jarry.
“It feels great. Definitely been a cool experience to be outside the U.S. so far,” Shelton said. “So I'm excited for what's to come and grateful that I got the chance to come here.”
The 20-year-old clearly enjoyed the moment competing in the second round of a major for the first time. The lefty drew on the crowd and soaked it all in.
“I definitely got some similar crowds at the US Open last year, so I kind of got used to that. And then playing college tennis, the crowds are a lot rowdier. They try to get in your head a lot more, and the cheering isn't as polite,” Shelton said, cracking a laugh. “In terms of dealing with crowds, I feel like I've done a pretty good job with that. I think the hardest part was just dealing with the time change and getting my legs back and just how I felt. Obviously, it's my first trip out of the country, so I have never dealt with a time change more than three hours.
“So I think it was the hardest part for me. Going from Adelaide the first week I didn't feel great, and I started feeling really good in the second week in Auckland, and now I think I'm starting to hit my stride.”