Tennis news: American women reunite, and a new top seed in American men's tennis

  • Jennifer Brady visits Charleston Open
  • Ben Shelton will overtake Taylor Fritz
Aaron M. Sprecher/GettyImages

It was a good weekend in American tennis in more ways than one. Clay court tournaments in Charleston and Houston crowned American champions. Danielle Collins continues her dominance in the WTA with her second title in two weeks. Sloane Stephens and Ashlyn Krueger won their first doubles title, and Ben Shelton defeated Frances Tiafoe to win in Houston.

Behind the scenes in Charleston, Jennifer Brady, 28, visited her friends. Brady is out for an extended period with a knee injury and has a new job as a graduate assistant at UCLA. Fans want Brady, a former Australian Open finalist and US Open semifinalist back on the court as soon as possible. Judging by the smiling faces of her American compatriots, they want her back on the tour soon also.

Brady was photographed with many players, but the group photo with Madison Keys, Desirae Krawcyzk, and Jessica Pegula is my favorite.

A new men's #1 is entering the scene

In Houston, Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe battled it out in the final with Shelton prevailing. Shelton played a lot of clay court tennis in 2023, and that experience is proving helpful. American men have issues with the clay evidenced by Taylor Fritz's early exit in Monte Carlo.

Because of Shelton's win and Fritz's inability to defend the points earned in Monte Carlo from 2023 when he was a semifinalist, Shelton will become the new American men's top ranked player next week.

Fritz has been the top American ranked man since 2021 so this is a significant change in USA men's tennis. Shelton played college tennis at the University of Florida before turning pro and making the ATP Tour tournament draws in late 2022.

Shelton has ascended quickly with his best Grand Slam results at the 2023 US Open when he was a singles and mixed doubles semifinalist. Fritz is a Grand Slam quarterfinalist in all of the Slams, but the French Open where he has not gotten past the third round.

Based on points and rankings, Shelton, Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, and Sebastian Korda would comprise the US men's Olympic team if selected today. This is a quality team, but clay is not the surface its players have had the most success on.

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