Top tennis event in Santa Ponsa. | Quality Sport Images


Pa amb oli’, ‘sobrassada’, cheese or the famous ‘ensaimada’ were the local products that Ben Shelton discovered before his debut at the Mallorca tennis Championships.

"Mallorca is a beautiful place and I really enjoyed my stay here last year. It wasn't the result I wanted, losing in the first round, but I hope to do some more damage here this year", said the American who, on this second time in the island, has tried his hand at preparing ‘pa amb oli amb tomàtiga fregada’ (bread with oil and scrubbed tomatoes) accompanied by typical cured meats.

The current ATP number 15, who will make his debut against the Australian Rinky Hijikata (6/2, 2/6, 7/5 against Luca Nardi), has pointed out that, after a few days training at the Mallorca Country Club, he has felt very comfortable in Calvià. "I really like the way the courts are playing. And this is one of the coolest cities where we have a tournament. I'm excited to come back and play".

"I think it's a great preparation for Wimbledon. The weather in London right now is not as good as it is here, so it's nice to come here and see the sunshine for a few days and the warm weather and prepare in a nice place like this and also have the opportunity to compete in this tournament", said Shelton.

As the top seed in the draw, there is no extra pressure on the 21-year-old Atlanta born player. "I haven't played much tennis on grass yet and I'm still getting used to it and trying to figure out how to play on it. So I don't think there's too much pressure for me. Yes, I'm the top seed, but I don't have any pressure or high expectations on myself."

In the previous three editions of the Mallorca Championships presented by waterdrop®, two of Shelton's countrymen have reached the final. In 2021, Sam Querrey lost to Daniil Medvedev (6/4, 6/2), while Christopher Eubanks did beat Frenchman Andrian Mannarino the year before (6/1, 6/4).

"I'm excited to see what I can do this year. Last year I lost to Christopher Eubanks and ended up winning the tournament. I'm really happy for him because he's one of my best friends, but I think he'll try to do the same. I know he loves playing here, so I'm looking forward to competing this week," concluded the top seed on the American's success and his chances at the only ATP 250 on grass in southern Europe.