Ben Shelton has surprising opinion on playing in the Paris Olympics

Shelton told the Indian Wells press that he has given this summer's Olympics a lot of thought
Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Athletes train and devote their lives to making the Olympic team. However, the case for professional tennis players is slightly different. The Summer Olympics are scheduled amid the WTA and ATP tours grass and hardcourt swings.

This year's Olympics will be played on the clay courts of Roland Garros, home of the French Open. They begin two weeks after Wimbledon concludes on July 26 and go through August 11, 2024. Tennis players, like Ben Shelton, will have a dilemma on how to prepare and play.

Shelton addressed his desire and inclination to play in the 2024 Paris Olympics team when asked recently by the Indian Wells press.

What Ben Shelton said

Shelton, 21, has not decided on his plans for the Paris Olympics. He is inclined to skip them because it would involve stepping away from hardcourt summer tournaments that prepare players for the US Open beginning August 26.

For players who are not as skilled on the clay (which includes most North American players) playing the clay court swing in May, grass-court swing in June, and hardcourt swing in July is not a great training block to play on clay again in the Olympics. It also poses a logistical challenge for those who want to play the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on August 11.

Shelton indicated that the 2028 Summer Olympics are on his radar. They will be played on the hardcourts in Los Angeles. He is currently the second-ranked American so he would be eligible for the US Olympic team in singles and would likely be tapped to play doubles or mixed doubles also.

He is the first to speak out about the Olympic dilemma just a week after playing an outstanding mixed doubles exhibition with fellow American Emma Navarro to win the Eisenhower Cup. Coco Gauff also mentioned Shelton as someone she would like to play with in mixed doubles in the future.

Read more on Lob and Smash