Houston | Shelton claims second career title.

American Ben Shelton lifted the second title of his career at the expense of his friend Frances Tiafoe, the defending champion at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.

The 21-year-old though had to battle hard to inflict the 7-5 4-6 6-3 defeat as Tiafoe was clearly determined to secure back-to-back titles for the first time in his career.

“Great week ‘Foe. Great job to you and your team,” Shelton said during the trophy ceremony after the two-hour 16-minute final. “I know this one stings; sorry you didn’t go back-to-back titles, but you’re that type of player who can go back to back. I want to see you do it again this year, hopefully in Stuttgart.”

Shelton, son of former professional player Bryan Shelton, became the youngest player to win the title since Andy Roddick at 19 achieved it in 2002.

“You’ve been such an inspiration to kids, people of colour in our sport, just an amazing representation,” Shelton continued. “You’ve been that guy to always put on for us and always be selfless, thinking about others, kids younger than you. So thanks for everything that you do for our sport and people who look like you and me.”

Shelton will climb to a career-high 14 in the rankings on Monday, making him the No 2 American behind Taylor Fritz at 13.






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