Novak Djokovic asked why he did the Ben Shelton phone celebration
Novak Djokovic ended Ben Shelton’s run at the 2023 US Open on Friday. The Serb also did the equivalent of swiping his opponent’s glass slipper.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner dispatched Shelton 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 to punch his ticket to the US Open final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
After sealing the win, Djokovic mimicked the 20-year-old’s phone celebration (video here).
Shelton did not exactly seem enthused to see one of tennis’ all-time greats use his own celebration against him.
Djokic was asked about the viral moment during the post-match press conference. The US Open finalist gave a rather interesting response.
“I just love Ben’s celebration, said I thought it was very original and I copied him. I stole his celebration,” Djokovic said.
Novak Djokovic on his phone celebration after beating Ben Shelton:
“I just love Ben’s celebration. I thought it was very original. I copied him. I stole his celebration.” pic.twitter.com/AAi45MBClr
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 9, 2023
Djokovic tried to be playful and seemed to answer facetiously about the stolen celebration. But nonetheless, the move was certainly a cold way to close out Shelton’s campaign. Both Djokovic’s on-court moment and response were very on-brand for one of tennis’ most unabashed figures.
Djokovic’s win sets up a rematch against Daniil Medvedev. The Russian bested Djokovic in the 2021 US Open final, denying the Serb a chance at winning all four majors in the same year.