Ebden Stuns Goffin; Thiem, Sock Also Exit
They say that the third time is the charm. But for Australian Matthew Ebden, it was actually the fourth.
Ebden, at a career-best World No. 51, dropped as low as No. 699 in the ATP Rankings just 18 months ago due to a knee injury that required surgery. The Aussie responded by climbing 619 spots in 2017, the greatest jump of any player who moved into the Top 100 last season.
Competing in the Wimbledon main draw for the fifth time, Ebden will now look to make the third round at a major championship for the first time. It is his first victory against a Top 10 opponent at a Grand Slam, and just his second triumph against the elite group overall (Mardy Fish, 2012 BNP Paribas Open).
Ebden, who reached his lone ATP World Tour final at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open last year, has already shown his prowess on grass this year, advancing to the semi-finals at the Libema Open — where he lost to eventual champion Jeremy Chardy — and the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals, where he fell against nine-time titlist Roger Federer. He also made the semi-finals at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Surbiton as a qualifier, losing to #NextGenATP compatriot Alex de Minaur.
Goffin was not the only favourite to exit the tournament on Tuesday, as Dominic Thiem saw his event come to an end shortly after the Belgian’s dismissal. Former World No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis led the No. 7 seed 6-4, 7-5, 2-0 when the Austrian retired due to back pain.
Thiem was coming off of a strong clay-court season, in which he reached his maiden Grand Slam final at Roland Garros.
Jack Sock, who reached the semi-finals at last year's Nitto ATP Finals following his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 triumph in Paris, also lost. Italian Matteo Berrettini sent the American to a six-match losing streak, sending the No. 18 seed home with a 6-7(5), 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 comeback victory.
Berrettini is appearing at Wimbledon for the first time. He won his first two major main draw matches at Roland Garros, advancing to the third round where he fell against Thiem. Berrettini will face Frenchman Gilles Simon, the 2015 quarter-finalist, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 7-6(5), 6-1. Simon, who lifted his 13th ATP World Tour title at the Tata Open Maharashtra in January, converted eight of 13 break point opportunities to progress after one hour and 41 minutes.
Did You Know?
This was Ebden's fourth match against a Top 20 opponent at the All England Club. The Aussie fell in straight sets in each of those previous three matches.