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Make it two in a row: Ben Shelton wins Knoxville Challenger

The former Florida Gator also won Charlottesville earlier this month.
Credit: Temple Photography
Ben Shelton shown Sunday on his way to his Knoxville Challenger title.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. โ€” Rising tennis star Ben Shelton added another title Sunday to his growing resume, beating Christopher Eubanks to win the Knoxville Challenger in three sets.

It was the second consecutive title match for the big lefthander over Eubanks, the 2021 Knoxville champion. Shelton beat his friend and occasional doubles partner in two sets earlier this month at the Charlottesville Challenger in Virginia.

Shelton, 20, who has an explosive, airborne serve, decided in August to leave the University of Florida tennis team so he could turn pro. This year while still at Florida he won the 2022 NCAA singles championship as a sophomore.

His ATP ranking has shot up from 229 on Aug. 15 to 108 this week.

Look for it to rise even higher.

Shelton, the son of former pro and Florida coach Bryan Shelton, impressed many in August during the ATP Masters 1000 tournament at Cincinnati by beating French Open finalist Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3 in an early round.

The win made him the youngest American man to beat a top-five player since Andy Roddick more than 20 years ago.

Credit: Helen Ross McNabb Center
Ben Shelton won Sunday's Knoxville Challenger.

For his victory Sunday, Shelton gets a $7,000 check. His prize money so far this year is more than $200,000.

The weeklong Knoxville tournament, a favorite for more than a decade, also serves as a fundraiser for the Helen Ross McNabb Center. It's held on the campus courts of the University of Tennessee men's and women's tennis teams.

Credit: WBIR
Ben Shelton shown in August at the Cincinnati Masters tournament.

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