Shelton And Tiafoe Set Up All-American Clash In Houston Final - Eastern Mirror
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Shelton and Tiafoe set up all-American clash in Houston final

By IANS Updated: Apr 07, 2024 6:12 pm
Photo: IANS

HOUSTON — Americans Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe prevailed in their respective semifinals to set up an all-American final showdown at US Men’s Clay Court Championships.

No.1 seed Shelton reeled off a three-set victory over No. 4 seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7(4-7), 6-4, 6-4 in 2 hours and 29 minutes. Both players are known for their towering first serves, but it was Shelton who capitalised on the break opportunities on Saturday night.

In addition to firing seven aces and winning 84% of his first serves, he was successful in converting three of four break points on Etcheverry’s serve. With Saturday’s three-set victory, Shelton improves to 7-2 in three-set matches this year in the best-of-3 format.

Saturday’s win marks a few career milestones for the 21-year-old American – his second ATP Tour final and a return to his career-high ranking of No. 15. Moreover, for once clay-averse Shelton, who finished 2-7 during his inaugural clay season in 2023, it will be his first ATP clay court final on the red dirt at River Oaks, according to the information on tournaments website.

Meanwhile, in the second semifinal, Tiafoe defeated Italian Luciano Darderi 6-2, 7-6 (7-2). The win marks Tiafoe’s seventh consecutive victory at River Oaks, where he now has a 10-4 (71%) lifetime record.

It is also the first time he has won three consecutive matches since last September at the 2023 U.S. Open, where he lost to Shelton in a four-set quarterfinal affair under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

By IANS Updated: Apr 07, 2024 6:12:43 pm
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