Rick Macci Analysis: Ben Shelton
Oct 11, 2023
Legendary coach Rick Macci has been delivering succinct analyses of the games of several leading pros through in depth interviews with Florida Tennis editor Jim Martz. Macci continues in this post with recent US Open semifinalist Ben Shelton.
Yeah, Florida Gator. With that serve, see you later alligator. When you can hit 147 and you’re lefthanded and you can hit it on a dime, just like Opelka, you’ve got a chance against anybody, Jim, with that type of serve.
What’s crazy, a couple years ago many colleges come to the Battle of Boca, which I put together awhile back, and as you know it has just taken over South Florida and worldwide, the Battle of Boca we have every weekend. He lost in the second round here.
So the moral of the story, I don’t want to say the Battle of Boca is tougher than the Australian Open, where he got to the quarters, but he lost second round.
When I saw this guy play, I knew there was something under the hood. Wicked serve, brutal forehand, lots of action. The backhand has a little bit of a bubble loop. He needs to modify or adjust the backhand. I think it could be simplified. Hopefully that will be taken care of.
Good imagination, good creativity, very good athlete, good genes. I know his father, Bryan, back in the day used to play with Tommy Ho all the time.
So is he the next great American? That’s to be determined. I think he could be one of the guys to go in there. He definitely could be a top 10 player some day. He’s going to have to shore up a few things.
But to make that meteoric rise from college ... You know, hey, “I’m going to play pro tennis and start knocking people out. “That just shows you he’s a great competitor.
And like I said, when you can serve 147 and you’re lefty and you can hit spots, you’re a contender on any surface. I love his upside. He’s going to be one of the next great Americans.
Interview with Rick Macci by Florida Tennis' Founder and Editor Jim Martz. Photos (from top to bottom): © On; Todd Pechter. This article also appears in the September-October 2023 issue of Florida Tennis Magazine. Be sure to subscribe for expanded coverage, exclusive interviews, and in-depth tennis news.