Ben Shelton Masters a Tricky Fifth Set at the Australian Open. Holger Rune Does Not.
Neither Shelton, 20, nor Rune, 19, had gone this deep at the Australian Open. Playing in fourth-round matches on different courts, only one advanced to the quarterfinals.
MELBOURNE, Australia Two young tennis players born just six months apart were in different arenas but in the same predicament on Monday: trying to figure out how to prevail in a fifth set.
Neither Holger Rune nor Ben Shelton had been this far at an Australian Open.
Shelton, a 20-year-old American lefty with a friendly manner and an unfriendly serve, had never played in the Australian Open at all until this month: not even as a junior.
But both powerful and hungry youngsters were on the brink of reaching the quarterfinals on opposite ends of the vast concourse at Melbourne Park that leads from the main court, Rod Laver Arena, to John Cain Arena.
Rune, a 19-year-old from Denmark who entered the tournament ranked 10th in the world after a breakthrough 2022 season, was in Laver Arena facing the No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev in one of the featured matches of the day.