Ben Shelton Upset by Flavio Cobolli in Geneva Open 2024: Full Match Recap and Analysis

Ben Shelton, the No. 4 seed at the Gonet Geneva Open, faced a surprising exit after a comeback win by Flavio Cobolli.

Ben Shelton’s last-minute plans for Roland Garros 2024 encountered a roadblock on Tuesday when he lost his opening match of the week to Flavio Cobolli, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2.

Ben Shelton Upset by Flavio Cobolli in Geneva Open 2024: Full Match Recap and Analysis

After spending two hours and one minute on Center Court, Cobolli turned the tables to reach his third ATP quarterfinal of the season. The No. 4 seed had hoped to build on a strong clay swing before to the second major tournament of the season, but he was unable to convert a set and a break lead.

Cobolli said on the court, “I’m really happy for the win.” “I enjoy playing in Geneva and I really hope to come out playing as well in the next match.”

This spring, Shelton and several other Americans have successfully transitioned from their faster-court style to clay courts. Shelton began the trend with his second career triumph in Houston and advanced to the third round of both the Mutua Madrid Open and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The 21-year-old, who just last month hit a career-high ranking of No. 14, decided to play one last warm-up match before the second big tournament of 2024, drawing Cobolli after a first-round bye. The match ended in a straight-sets loss to Zhang Zhizhen at the Foro Italico.

At 22, Cobolli is one of many Italians in form, having made a breakthrough run to the 2024 Australian Open third round to open the season. After making it to the third round in Madrid, Cobolli forced American Sebastian Korda to three games at home in Rome before traveling to Geneva, where he won straight sets over Aslan Karatsev, a former Australian Open semifinalist, to secure a meeting with Shelton in the second round.

After the game, Cobolli cracked a joke, saying, “I like to play lefties because I’ve played against a lot of lefties this year.” “You saw today!”

Shelton overcame slow circumstances on Monday despite rain stopping play. With his strong first serve and forehand, he broke the single set to finish the opening set in 38 minutes. Shelton maintained his momentum into the second set, breaking and serving his way to a 4-2 lead in the third game. Cobolli then made his first move of the match, forcing the American to battle through an exhausting 8 games.

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Cobolli outwitted Shelton on the fourth game, tracking his serve and volley with a well-angled pass, to tie the set at four games apiece. Shelton had survived three break points.

After turning around a 30-0 deficit to pull up a set point, Cobolli made another assault; Shelton saved it with a strong serve and played another extended game to force a tiebreaker.

Cobolli pulled off a spectacular reversal, winning the Sudden Death with just one point lost and securing an unreturnable serve to force a decider set.
As the third set progressed, Cobolli became more dominant. He broke the Shelton serve once more and consolidated by saving two break points in the following game.

As the match entered its crucial phase, Shelton withdrew to the baseline after spending the majority of it serving and volleying. Cobolli took full advantage of this move, earning an insurance break off a double fault.

Serving for the match, Cobolli glided into a spectacular forehand winner and fired an ace to bring up three match opportunities; Shelton saved one, but Cobolli finished with one final ace to secure a quarterfinal matchup with Kazakhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko. Emil Ruusuvuori gave Shevchenko a walkover into the final eight.

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