Autograph Corner: Ben Shelton
Aug 08, 2023
Imagine winning a Division I Tennis Championship with your father as the team's coach. A dream scenario. And then, seemingly in the blink of an eye, you are in the top 50 on the ATP Tour. Not possible!
Above: Autograph from Ben Shelton; A look back when Ben Shelton poured Gatorade all over his father (and Florida Gators coach) Ben Shelton in celebration of victory
Add to that being named as the first male brand ambassador for On, Roger Federer's sneaker and apparel company. Can't happen!
Yes it can! Just ask Ben Shelton. In 2021, as a true freshman, he clinched the Florida Gators' first team national championship with his win at fifth singles. His father, former ATP tour professional Bryan Shelton, guided that team to victory. In 2022, Ben Shelton won the men's singles title at the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships and was named the ITA National player of the Year.
Above: Ben Shelton wins big with the Florida Gators
As of May 8, he reached a career high ATP singles ranking of No. 35. He became the male brand ambassador for On in March for clothing and shoes and was endorsed by Yonex for racquets.
It could not have happened to a nicer player from a better tennis family. I was lucky enough to interact with Shelton when I covered the 2023 Delray Beach Open for Florida Tennis. He is a class act and a tremendous talent and we look forward to chronicling his promising career for many years to come. And, yes, dreams do come true! The future of American men's tennis is bright!
Adam Ross is a contributing writer for Florida Tennis. He is a volunteer for the USTA Florida and the Vice-President of the Tennis Collectors of America/TCA. He welcomes your questions and comments at email@example.com. Autograph: Courtesy of Adam Ross Collection. Photos (top to bottom): Paige Apkarian, Isabella Marley, Paige Apkarian. This article also appears in the July-August 2023 issue of Florida Tennis Magazine. Be sure to subscribe for expanded coverage, exclusive interviews, and in-depth tennis news.