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Australia's Ebden wins first Challenger title

AFP
ANALYST
Modified 09 Jun 2013
News

2013 BNP Paribas Open - Day 5

Australia’s Matthew Ebden won his first ATP Challenger title with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 victory over defending champion Benjamin Becker in today’s final in Nottingham.

Ebden, ranked 122nd in the world, took just over two hours to see off German world number 97 Becker and win the grass-court event, which is part of the ATP’s second tier Challenger circuit.

The 25-year-old had to save seven break points at 3-3 in a tense first set before landing the crucial break to move ahead in the match.

Ebden, born in South Africa but now living in Perth, was broken early in the second set as Becker forced a decider.

But Ebden piled the pressure on the German and broke his serve to seal the title.

“No one was going to give anything away out there,” Ebden said. “In the big points during the match you had to be the one attacking, because being on the front foot was the only way to win it.”

It was Ebden’s second final appearance this year after he claimed the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Jarmila Gajdosova in January.

Ebden paid tribute to his new coach Peter McNamara, the former Australian Open and Wimbledon doubles champion, for revitalising his fortunes after a poor run in recent months.

“I’ve started working with Peter McNamara and we have put things in place,” he said.

“We both knew it would take time to make some changes, there were a few things that were uncomfortable at the start, but I just had to work through them because the end result would be better.

“It is nice to see the improvements and changes that we’ve been working on are just starting to come through in my match play consistently.”

smg/bc

Published 09 Jun 2013
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