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Coco Spills The Beans: The Shelton-Tiafoe Trash Talk Has Begun

Good friends Shelton and Tiafoe to meet in the last eight
September 04, 2023
Ben Shelton and Coco Gauff entertain the New York crowd on Arthur Ashe Kids' Day.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Ben Shelton and Coco Gauff entertain the New York crowd on Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. By ATP Staff

Coco Gauff revealed in her post-match press conference Sunday at the US Open that the trash talk has begun between men’s quarter-final opponents Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe.

“After my match, Ben and Frances were in the cooldown area, or warmup area, and it was really just cool to see us all there,” Gauff said. “Obviously the conversation, they already started the trash talk. I'm indifferent who wins, but I did say that Frances is a little bit upset because I said Ben had the better outfit than him.”

Gauff, who is also in the quarter-finals, is friends with several American players. She admitted she gave Tiafoe an earful about his kit.

"Frances told me at the French Open that he had something crazy planned for the US Open,” Gauff said. “I was like, ‘You're wearing confetti.’ I said Carlos [Alcaraz] looked better. He's going to hate this. Love you, Frances.” 

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According to Shelton, the guys have bantered about their outfits, too.

“There's not a time that he walks by me in the locker room and doesn't say something about, ‘Man, I'm looking way better than you in this sleeveless shirt. You’ve got to work on those shoulders, buddy,’” Shelton said of Tiafoe.

A 2022 US Open semi-finalist, Tiafoe shed light on the trash talk they have started regarding their tennis rather than their fashion. The clash will be their first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting.

“Ben has wanted to play me at the Open for a long time. So he's going to be super excited. He's going to come out with a lot of energy,” Tiafoe said. “I'm just going to have to tame him down, try to be the vet and get the win. It's going to be good. It's going to be a great atmosphere, I think great representation for people of colour, right? Two people of colour playing in the quarter-finals, huge match on Arthur Ashe. It's a pretty monumental moment.”

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Gauff is thrilled to have so many Americans still competing in the season’s final major. There are three American men in the last eight of the US Open for the first time since 2005 and there will be at least two women from the home country in the quarter-finals, too.

“It's really great. I was so happy. Obviously I know Tommy [Paul] really well, too. But I was really happy for Ben's win,” Gauff said. “Especially they played each other in Australia, so it's nice to just see the competitiveness between the countrymen and us all doing well.

“With Ben and Frances winning [that] guarantees a person in the semi. With Jess [Jessica Pegula] and Maddie [Madison Keys] playing, it guarantees a person in the quarters. It's just really exciting tennis for America. I hope that the fans are excited, are as happy with it.”

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