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From Shelton’s irruption to Rublev’s banana

Apart from everything related to the two great duels of the daythose that starred Novak Djokovic against Grigor Dimitrov and Andy Murray against Roberto Bautista, the men’s day of Open the Australia it had other leads, including Ben Shelton and Andrey Rublev. The American, for his irruption at the age of 20 in the round of 16 of a Grand Slam, and the Russian because he was involved in the anecdote of the day.

Shelton, 89th in the world and American university champion in 2021, beat the emotional Australian Alexei Popyrin with surprising ease (6-3, 7-6 (4) and 6-4) and will face his compatriot JJ Wolf on Monday, who could Michael Mmoh (6-4, 6-1 and 6-2) in one of the USA duels of the third round. He is the son of a tennis player, who is also his coach and “his greatest inspiration” of him: Bryan Shelton, who was 55th in the world and won two titles in Newport, in 1991 and 1992. Last year, Ben beat Casper Ruud in Cincinnati.

Rublev, fifth favorite, beat the British Daniel Evans (6-4, 6-2 and 6-3), who had a very sporting behavior with the Russian. The Brit threw a banana at him during a break in the match, when Andrey. “I didn’t ask him, I told a ball boy, but they had brought him some before and he said, ‘Here,’ and I took it,” explained the Muscovite. “It helped me gain some energy, for sure. Eating it gave me an extra”, thanked Rublev, who will face the mighty Holger Rune. The Dane, 19 years old and 10th in the ranking, got rid of the Frenchman Ugo Humbert (6-4, 6-2 and 7-6 (5)), although he ended up with discomfort in his right wrist.

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