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Shelton beats Tiafoe in Houston final, Berrettini and Hurkacz also capture ATP titles

Ben Shelton captured his second ATP title and first on clay by defeating Frances Tiafoe in an all-American meeting at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Sunday. Shelton fired 11 aces and won 83 percent of his first-serve points while getting broken only once, triumphing after two hours and 16 minutes of play.

Shelton previously lifted an ATP trophy last fall in Tokyo. Tiafoe was the defending champion in Houston.

“You’ve been such an inspiration to kids, people of color in our sport, just an amazing representation,” Shelton told Tiafoe afterward. “You’ve been that guy to always put on for us and always be selfless, thinking about others, kids younger than you. So thanks for everything that you do for our sport and people who look like you and me.”

In Marrakech, Matteo Berrettini’s comeback picked up momentum with his first title since Queen’s Club in 2022. Berrettini, who missed the remainder of last season following the U.S. Open due to an ankle injury, beat Grand Prix Hassan II defending champion Roberto Carballes Baena 7-5, 6-2.

“It’s been a tough past couple of years, I would say, and thanks to [my team] I was able to overcome all the tough moments,” the Italian said during the trophy ceremony. “My body wasn’t allowing me to play, so it’s thanks to [them] that I am here.

“[I also want to thank] all the people that made my comeback possible–all my friends, my family, people that were with me all the times when I was sad and injured, and I didn’t think I could make it. So thank you very much.”

The European clay swing began at the Estoril open, where Hubert Hurkacz made quick 6-3, 6-4 work of Pedro Martinez.

“I’m so happy with my performance today,” the big-serving Pole commented. “I’m proud that I found my serve and that definitely helped me a lot. Pedro is such a great competitor, an amazing battle last night. I needed to play really great tennis to compete with him and fortunately I did it.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.