World number 11 Frances Tiafoe will take on 27th-ranked Ben Shelton in the quarter-finals of the US Open on Wednesday. The winner of this match will move on to face either Taylor Fritz or Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. This is Tiafoe’s tenth US Open tournament, and the American has had a fairly straightforward run in the competition up to this stage. He has only dropped one set in the tournament so far, which came against Adrian Mannarino in round three. Aside from that, he beat Learner Tien and Sebastian Ofner in straight sets in the opening two rounds and Rinky Hijikata in his last match. Shelton also reached the quarter-finals in Washington last month but failed to impress in Canada and Cincinnati, exiting in the first and second rounds, respectively. Still, his record stands at 37-14 for the year and 21-7 on the hard surface, which sees him enter the match as the clear favourite.
Meanwhile, Ben Shelton comes into this match after getting revenge over compatriot Tommy Paul in the last round. Paul had beaten Shelton in the quarter-final of the Australian Open at the start of the year, but the 20-year-old managed to come out on top in four sets this time around. He will now play in his first quarter-final on the hard surface since the Australian Open. He claimed wins over Aslan Karatsev and Pedro Cahin in the earlier rounds, while Dominic Thiem withdrew from the contest in the second set of round two. Shelton is now 18-22 for the year and 12-11 on the hard court, which is also the only surface he has a positive record on this season. The biggest weapon in his arsenal in this competition has been his booming serve, as we saw in the last match when he blasted 16 aces past Paul. Can he manage back-to-back upsets in this competition?
What we have here is the experience of Tiafoe facing the big-hitting of Shelton. Tiafoe has been little troubled up to this point in the competition and is carrying solid form on this surface into the match. He is our pick to progress. With Tiafoe recording 15 aces in his last match and Shelton registering 16, a play on the aces totals could also be a viable option. Our Frances Tiafoe vs Ben Shelton prediction: Frances Tiafoe to win the match.