NCAA champ turns pro, accepts US Open invite

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — NCAA tennis champion Ben Shelton is leaving the University of Florida to turn pro and has received a wild-card invitation for the US Open.

The 19-year-old Shelton, who was born in Atlanta, announced his decision Tuesday on Twitter. The US Open begins in New York on Monday.

Shelton won the 2022 college singles championship as a sophomore for Florida. His father, former professional tennis player Bryan, coaches the Gators.

Shelton is ranked 171st this week. He is a left-hander who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds on the ATP website.

Shelton made his ATP debut at Atlanta last month and won his first match there, before losing to 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist John Isner in a third-set tiebreaker.

Last week at Cincinnati, Shelton beat No. 5 Casper Ruud, this year’s French Open runner-up, by a 6-3, 6-3 score, making Shelton the youngest American man to defeat an opponent ranked in the top five since Andy Roddick in 2001.

Roddick was the last American man to win a Grand Slam title, doing so at the 2003 US Open.

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