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And so it begins…

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Wild card Ebden upsets seeded compatriot

Former world No.39, Aussie Matthew Ebden, who slipped down the rankings to 319 following a serious foot injury, is proving he is fit and ready to climb back up the rankings.

I played a really good match in terms of putting it on my racket and pulling a lot of the points in my favour Matthew Ebden

He made his return at the Great Ocean Road Open warm-up event for the Australian Open where he also competed and reached the final of the Mixed Doubles with Samantha Stosur.

Playing courtesy of a wild card at the Singapore Tennis Open, Ebden produced an upset by ousting his compatriot, the second seed, John Millman 6-4 6-1, ranked 39, to make the quarter-finals where he will face another Aussie, Alexei Popyrin.

“I expected a tough match, he’s had a good last few years, so I knew I had to play well,” he said. “I played a really good match in terms of putting it on my racket and pulling a lot of the points in my favour.”

In the top half, Adrian Mannarino of France, the top seed, defeated the 191 ranked Italian Roberto Marcora, 6-3 7-5.

The world No. 35 Frenchman was made to work hard for his win, as he needed some time to adjust to the court conditions in his first match after getting a bye into the second round.

Mannarino said: “It’s never easy to start a tournament and I didn’t have the chance to warm-up or practise on the centre court. The lights and the speed of the court is a little bit different, so I needed to get used to it. The start of the match was not that great, but I was able to be consistent when the big punches were coming.”

Moldova’s Radu Albot, seeded six, also secured his spot in the last eight against Mannarino after a gruelling match against Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann that lasted two hours and 42-minutes 6-7(2) 7-6(7) 6-3.

The other quarter-final match-ups will pit fourth seed Alexander Bublik against fifth seeded Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, while 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic will face eighth seed Kwon Soon-woo after the South Korean defeated Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-3 6-4 on Thursday.






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