Novak Djokovic has reached yet another US Open final but his post-match 'taunt' of Ben Shelton's celebration has caused a stir. Djokovic was imperious against the young American as he won the semi-final contest in straight sets to reach his 10th US Open final.
Remarkably, it was only Shelton's seventh US Open match in his burgeoning career and the crowd was right beyond the youngster from the start. Djokovic didn't let the American crowd impact him as he used his experience to move one-step closer to winning his 24th grand slam title.
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While the match was played under a great intensity, Djokovic appeared frustrated at the end of the match when he mocked the American. Shelton made headlines with his post-match celebration when he beat Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-final.
His phone hang-up celebration caught the attention of tennis fans as he gestured to silencing the outside noise. Except no one would have expected the 36-year-old Djokovic to perform the same celebration seconds after defeating Shelton.
The American noticed the 23-time grand slam winner performing the gesture and the duo shared an 'ice cold' handshake at the net. Djokovic's move was out of character and certainly caught the attention of the tennis world.
While Shelton may have frustrated the Serbian with his antics throughout the match, many fans thought Djokovic's post-match taunt showed a lack of class. Nick Kyrgios even took notice of the celebration and commented 'cold'.
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) September 8, 2023
Safe to say Novak Djokovic had enough of Ben Shelton's today...
Imitated his post match point celebration...
Ben saw and didn't like. Cold handshake. pic.twitter.com/Pz6txiBakB
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 8, 2023
This is why Nole will never be seen in the same light as Rafa and Roger. He doesn’t want anyone to succeed but himself.
— Liam Freeman (@LiquidatorPod) September 8, 2023
Savage, gotta let the youngin know who is boss
— Database Sports Picks (@DatabasePicks) September 8, 2023
Just brilliant !!!
— Jason Vale (@juicemaster) September 8, 2023
Imagine been the most successful player in history and yet, you feel the need to mock a 20-year-old local hero after defeat. This is probably one of Djokovic's most unsportsmanship moments.
— Not so angry Safin (@angrysafin) September 8, 2023
Mocking Shelton's celebration is one of the reasons why he will never be as loved as he wants to be. That was incredibly uncalled for.
— M. (@Fed21_310) September 8, 2023
Djokovic doing Shelton’s phone taunt is when a dude knows and embraces being the villain
— Douglas Reyes-Ceron (@dreyesceron) September 8, 2023
Novak Djokovic defends post-match celebration
In his post-match press conference, Djokovic said he copied the celebration because he thought it was original and it wasn't an attempt to mock the youngster. "I just love Ben's celebration. I thought it was very original, I copied him and stole his celebration," Djokovic said.
Shelton said he didn't see the celebration until after the match and said he was 'flattered' the legend copied his celebration. Djokovic now has the chance to become the oldest male grand slam winner in history when he takes on Daniil Medvedev in the final.
Djokovic will surpass Australian Ken Roswell who won his last grand slam at the age of 35 years old. "Look, these are the kind of matches and occasions that I still thrive on, that inspire me to wake up every day and work hard," Djokovic said.
"Grand slams are the most important, the ones that mean the most to me. Playing an American player is never easy and I had to hold my nerve.
"It was anybody's game at the end of the third set. I'm really pleased with this win today."
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