Ben Shelton, Sebastian Korda set all-American QF at ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai
Americans Ben Shelton and Sebastian Korda are set to face each other in the quarterfinals of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Shanghai. This is Shelton’s first appearance in the final eight of a Masters-level event, and Korda’s second—he reached the Miami quarterfinals in 2021.
Shelton defeated world No. 4 and last week's Beijing champion Sinner in a third-set tiebreak Tuesday, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), breaking the Italian’s seven-match winning streak. This victory also marked his third Top 10 win. Shelton’s Shanghai showing is the continuation of the splash he's made in big hard-court events in his first full year on tour, also reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and semifinals at the US Open.
His current run has also been a pretty good 21st birthday present, in addition to the crowd serenading him after his win over Sinner and enjoying some cake in the players' lounge.
He’ll be facing a formidable opponent in Korda, who just reached the finals of the Astana Open last week. Korda was also a quarterfinalist in Melbourne, and reached the semifinals at Winston-Salem and Zhuhai in the second half of the season. The 23-year-old, seeded No. 26, defeated Daniil Medvedev in the third round in Shanghai for his first career Top 5 win, and followed that up with a fourth-round win over No. 20 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.
The pair of Top 30 Americans will face off for a spot in the semifinals on Thursday, which would be a career-best result at a Masters 1000 for either player.
Shelton, always energetic on and off the court, is enthusiastic about the match—no matter what the result is.
“Sebi's a great guy and playing [in] really, really good form. He beat the No. 2 player in the world, No. 3 player in the world, Medvedev, [who is having] arguably one of the best hard court seasons on tour. I think that shows how well Sebi's playing. I'm really looking forward to a battle,” he said.
“I'm really excited whenever Americans are going deep in the draw, it's something really cool for me to see, so one of us will be in the semifinals here in Shanghai, which is awesome.”
The U.S. could end up with as many as four quarterfinalists in Shanghai, as Tommy Paul and J.J. Wolf play their Round of 16 matches on Wednesday.