Ben Shelton’s magical run at the 2023 U.S. Open came to an end on Friday afternoon.
The 20-year-old stunned No. 10-seeded Francis Tiafoe in the men’s singles quarterfinal round, but he was overpowered by two-seeded Novak Djokovic, a three-time singles champion at the event, in the semifinal round at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
After knocking off Tiafoe on Tuesday night, Shelton sported his trademark phone celebration. But when Djokovic defeated Shelton in straight sets to advance to the final round, the all-time leader in men’s Grand Slam singles titles returned the favor.
Djokovic mimicked Shelton’s phone hand signal before emphatically hanging it up.
Djokovic hangs up on Shelton in straight sets pic.twitter.com/H5A0UR5oUu
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) September 8, 2023
Shelton, who turned pro last August and reached the quarterfinal round of his first Grand Slam appearance at the Australian Open earlier this year, undoubtedly has an incredibly bright future ahead of him, potentially as the face of U.S. men’s tennis.
But he ran into a juggernaut in Djokovic — one of the greatest players of all time — who didn’t hesitate to give Shelton a taste of his own medicine.