Ben Shelton joins Novak Djokovic in denouncing the ATP Tour due to ongoing dispute over ball quality

Tennis players have been pleading with organizers since the start of the 2023 season about the crowded schedule, which frequently prevents them from participating in as many tournaments as they would want. Unfortunately, these worries have yet to have meaningful results. Several prominent personalities, including Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic, and Ben Shelton, have raised the issue of altering the type of tennis balls used on the ATP tour on a regular basis.

Novak Djokovic, who is returning to the ATP Tour in Paris after his victory at the US Open in September, asserts that the frequent changes in balls directly contribute to injuries suffered by players. He is demanding greater consistency in the type of ball used throughout the tour.

Novak Djokovic rips ATP Tour over ball

Novak Djokovic, who returns to ATP Tour in the Paris Masters, has revealed that meetings will take place with the ATP and there needs to be more consistency in the balls used on the tour. He said this during an interview with Sportal after a training session.

“I actually just had the conversation with Andrea Gaudenzi, president of ATP, and Massimo (Calvelli), the CEO. Because I haven’t been on the tour for quite some time, so I haven’t had a chance to talk to them,” Djokovic said.

“Of course I have seen the comments that more and more players were making about the balls that were used on different tournaments. Actually, (Sebastian) Korda, the player that I practiced with today, told me that this is fifth tournament now in a row that he’s been playing with different balls. This inconsistency is an issue, and that’s what most of the players, and also of course including myself, we complain about. I think there needs to be a bit more consistency with the balls so that we avoid any kind of issues with wrists and elbows and shoulders.”

“Quality is relative, each player prefers one depending on his style, the surface or whatever. From what I understand, there will be meetings soon where they will study different options on what can be done. It would be nice if there is coherence and the tour before the Roland Garros is played with the same ball. I hope that is the case there are many factors at play in making this change, taking brands and tournaments into account. As players, we simply want to prevent injuries.”

The 36-year-old Serbian star already has three magnificent Slam titles this season (Australian Open, French Open, and US Open) and could do more incredible things if he defends his Paris Masters title and perhaps wins the ATP Finals in Turin and gives himself victory at the Davis Cup Finals.

Ben Shelton join Novak Djokovic over ATP Tour ball controversy

Ben Shelton is having a dream season this year. The 20-year-old American won his first ATP title at the Japan Open and reached the semifinals of the US Open. Shelton also joins Novak Djokovic to raise the issue of the frequent change of tennis balls.

Ben Shelton
via ATP Tour

Ben Shelton shared his opinion through his Instagram stories: “Normally I don’t have arm problems, but this is the fifth tournament in a row with different balls and I can definitely feel it this week,“ Shelton wrote.

Ben Shelton is making his debut at the Paris Masters 1000, and he is set to face Alejandro Davidovich in the first round. There is a possibility that Shelton may encounter Novak Djokovic in the third round, assuming neither player experiences an unexpected early exit from the tournament. Shelton, who is arriving in Paris fresh off a first-round loss to Jannik Sinner in the Vienna Open, is hoping for a strong performance.

Victor Okechukwu

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