Jessica Pegula and Ben Shelton give props to female athletes

Pegula and Shelton reference the NCAA Women's National Championship on social media
Aaron M. Sprecher/GettyImages

Jessica Pegula and Ben Shelton gave propos to female athletes over the weekend in different ways. Both used social media and were keenly aware of Sunday afternoon's NCAA Women's Basketball Championship between Iowa and University of South Carolina.

Pegula tweeted her joy in living in an era when Danielle Collins, Nelly Korda and Caitlin Clark flooded her social media timeline. As a female athlete, she knows how important what these women are doing advances the cause for female athletes in all sports.

Pegula was a semifinalist in Charleston losing to Daria Kasatkina. Kasatkina was steamrolled in the final by the Danielle Collins freight train.

Shelton's nod to women in sports

Ben Shelton won his clay court final in Houston on Sunday over Frances Tiafoe. Shelton was thrilled and honored to be playing in the final but had a small complaint that the match was the same time as the Iowa vs. South Carolina game.

Shelton won the historic match. It was the first final contested by two African-American male tennis players in the Open Era. In addition to that groundbreaking statistic, another fact about Shelton's win made history. His father won the same tournament in 1992 so father and son, coach and player, create one more tie that binds them together.

Hopefully Shelton had time to catch the Iowa and South Carolina highlights after he completed the celebratory leap into the Houston pool. An extraordinary photo caught him mid air.

Shelton has so much to celebrate. On April 15, when the new rankings come out, he will have overtaken Taylor Fritz as the top ranked American man. A couple of years ago he was slugging it out and winning the national championship at the University of Florida; his rise has come quickly.

He is charismatic and capable of playing singles and doubles which would make him a huge asset for the US Olympic team in Paris this summer. As the top-ranked American man, he should be selected. The team is announced on June 9 after the conclusion of Roland Garros. Shelton previously was noncommital about playing the Olympics because it is played on clay in the middle of the summer hardcourt season so we will see what happens.

Read more on Lob and Smash