American rising star Ben Shelton desperately tries to hose down his bitter feud with


  • Novak Djokovic felt Ben Shelton was ‘unsportsmanlike’ at US Open
  • In relation to Shelton miming the use of a telephone on court
  • Pair could meet in the fourth round of the Australian Open

American young gun Ben Shelton was in no mood to discuss his ongoing feud with Novak Djokovic stemming from last year at Flushing Meadows following his first round win at the Australian Open.

Shelton, 21, who is the 16th seed at Melbourne Park, outclassed Spanish veteran Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets in what was a commanding performance on Show Court 2 on Monday.

Attention soon turned to Serbian superstar Djokovic, who in a recent interview with French publication L’Equipe labelled the US rising star ‘unsportsmanlike’.

That comment came in relation to Shelton’s now infamous miming the use of a telephone on court during his impressive run to the semi-finals in New York last September.

At the time, Djokovic – who beat Shelton in straight sets at the US Open before hoisting the trophy – said he found the youngster’s celebration amusing.

American young gun Ben Shelton was in no mood to discuss his ongoing feud with Novak Djokovic stemming from last year at Flushing Meadows following his first round win at the Australian Open

American young gun Ben Shelton was in no mood to discuss his ongoing feud with Novak Djokovic stemming from last year at Flushing Meadows following his first round win at the Australian Open

In a recent interview, Djokovic confirmed he mocked (pictured) Shelton's on-court celebration, feeling the young gun was disrespectful to his opponents

In a recent interview, Djokovic confirmed he mocked (pictured) Shelton’s on-court celebration, feeling the young gun was disrespectful to his opponents

The 21-year-old was impressive at his home Grand Slam last September, reaching the semi-finals

The 21-year-old was impressive at his home Grand Slam last September, reaching the semi-finals

The recent interview with L’Equipe told a different story, with Djokovic confirming he mocked Shelton after he felt the budding star was disrespectful to previous opponents.

‘It was a reaction against him,’ the 24-time Grand Slam winner said.

‘He [Shelton] did not behave properly, with respect, on court, and before the match.

‘I’m never going to make fun of someone if they don’t do something first. 

‘Every time I lose, I always give my opponent a hug, I congratulate him, I respect him and his team. ‘[But] if anyone one places himself in the ‘unsportsmanlike zone’, I react.’

When pressed on the simmering tension between the pair in Melbourne, Shelton declared he ‘doesn’t really have anything else to say on the whole US Open situation.’

‘I feel like I’ve been asked about it constantly in the last four or five months,’ he said.

In what looms as a promoter's dream, Ben Shelton and Novak Djokovic are set to meet in the fourth round at the Australian Open

In what looms as a promoter’s dream, Ben Shelton and Novak Djokovic are set to meet in the fourth round at the Australian Open

Incredibly, Djokovic, 36, is gunning for his 11th career grand slam at Melbourne Park

Incredibly, Djokovic, 36, is gunning for his 11th career grand slam at Melbourne Park

‘I feel like I’ve said my peace on the matter. I would rather just let it settle and move forward. 

‘We are in Australia now, not at the US Open, so I’m just focusing on the Australian Open. ‘I’m happy and grateful to be here.’

When asked why he believes he has got under Djokovic’s skin, Shelton didn’t give much away. 

‘I feel like I enjoy myself out on the tennis court,’ he said.

‘Everyone can have their opinion on who I am or how I act, but, yeah, I don’t know… I don’t really have an answer to your question.’

In what looms as a promoter’s dream, Shelton and Djokovic are on course to meet in the fourth round at the Australian Open.



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