Ebden Records Biggest Career Win, Upsets Thiem In Shanghai
Gasquet, Edmund through to the second round
In 2012, Matthew Ebden defeated then-World No. 8 Mardy Fish in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in a career-best victory. That personal record, which stood for over six and a half years, was broken on Tuesday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.
The 30-year-old Australian, a quarter-finalist in Shanghai seven years ago, rolled back the years to shock World No. 7 Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(4) in two hours and 45 minutes. Ebden hit 14 aces and saved six of nine break points en route to victory, recording his 18th win in 36 tour-level encounters this season.
Standing between Ebden and a return to the last eight in Shanghai will be Peter Gojowczyk. The German advanced by almost exactly the same scoreline, edging Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-6(5). Ebden leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Gojowczyk 1-0, beating the Munich-born 29-year-old en route to his only tour-level final appearance at Newport last year.
Thiem, who leads the ATP World Tour with 48 match wins, was aiming to reach the third round in Shanghai for the first time. A winner of three tour-level trophies this season, Thiem drops to 3-8 in China.
Ebden, after falling behind an immediate break of serve in the opening game of the match, quickly rallied to rebalance the score in the following game before manufacturing two set points in the tenth game. The Australian converted his opportunity with depth into Thiem's backhand wing to move one set ahead.
A tie-break was needed to decide the outcome of the set, after Ebden recovered a service break in the sixth game, with Thiem eventually prevailing. Ebden saved three set points with brave serving and net play, before Thiem finally converted his fourth chance with a strong forehand approach.
Ebden served for the match at 6-5 in the decider after capitalising on consecutive backhand errors from Thiem in the tenth game, but could not convert a match-point opportunity before surrendering his serve. But the Perth resident soon emerged victorious, with big serving in important moments to confirm victory.
Richard Gasquet recovered from a slow start to book his place in the second round, beating Argentina's Leonardo Mayer 1-6, 6-2, 6-1. The 2017 quarter-finalist, who won just 5 of 15 service points in the first set, converted four of five break points to eventually cruise into the second round after 89 minutes. Gasquet now leads the Hamburg runner-up 2-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series and will face China Open finalist Juan Martin del Potro for a spot in the third round.
Kyle Edmund booked his place in the second round for the third straight year, defeating Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-3. The British No. 1 landed 11 aces and saved four of five break points to set up a third FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting of the season, and fourth overall, against Andreas Seppi of Italy.