Tokyo, JAPAN - Known for his iconic left-handed serve and infectious smile, Ben Shelton (USA) secured his first ATP title on Sunday with a 7-5, 6-1 victory at the Kinoshita Group Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
At the start of the year, this Yonex ambassador was No. 96 in the ATP Rankings and had never ventured outside the United States. However, after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the US Open, the 21-year-old embarked on his first trip to Asia, achieving a significant breakthrough in Tokyo by winning his inaugural ATP tour title.
Competing in his first-ever tour-level final, the American prodigy recorded 18 winners with his EZONE racquet, securing a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Aslan Karatsev. Shelton’s victory elevated him to a career-high ranking of World No. 15 in the ATP Rankings.
“That meant a lot to me and my team. We have been working really hard since the beginning to build my game and win titles on the ATP Tour,” Shelton remarked. “I made some deep runs lately. You see the great champions, they finish weeks off. They win titles, they don't just get to finals. They are able to maintain their level throughout the week. I am not saying I am anywhere there yet, but to be able to do it for one week, to put together five matches in a row in Tokyo, is really special."
Doubles success for Team Yonex
In a highly successful week for Team Yonex in Tokyo, Yonex ambassador Rinky Hijikata from Australia took the doubles title with fellow Australian Max Purcell, defeating Briton Jamie Murray and New Zealander Michael Venus 6-4, 6-1.
Oda takes wheelchair title
Yonex ambassador Tokito Oda (JPN), already at World No.1 at just 17 years old, secured the men’s wheelchair singles title in Tokyo with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow Japanese Takashi Sanada, with his EZONE racquet.
The Japan Open was supported by the Yonex Stringing Team.
Remarkably, 31% of all athletes competing in the singles competition used Yonex Racquets. This includes semifinalists Marcos Giron (USA) using his PERCEPT racquet and Shintaro Mochizuki (JPN) using his VCORE racquet.
Ben Shelton’s road to the title:
Round of 32: beat Taro Daniel 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(2)
Round of 16: beat Jordan Thompson 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3
Quarter-final: beat Tommy Paul 7-6(4), 6-3
Semi-final: beat Marcos Giron 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4
Final: beat Aslan Karatsev 7-5, 6-1