Ebden Derails Thiem’s Shanghai Plans


Rolex Shanghai Masters, China

[7] Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs. [51] Matthew Ebden (AUS)

It was their first meeting and it was a battle. Thiem will never go down without a fight and Ebden proved today, that although he does not have the firepower of his opponent, he too was ready for the battle. Ebden employed the serve and volley tactic to disrupt Thiem’s rhythm and came pretty close to winning in straight sets; however, Thiem had a few tricks of his own. The Austrian countered with the lob and his firepower.

At thirty years old, Ebden has found renewed enthusiasm for the sport. As so often happens in sports, injury almost derailed his career completely; however, the Australian fought back and now, fighting for the victory on the tennis court appears comparatively easy considering what he had to endure in his recovery. He got to his career high earlier this year (43) and while he has yet to win his first ATP World Tour title, he came pretty close last year in Newport.

Ebden broke early in the first set; however, Thiem immediately broke back to even the match. The level of tennis was consistently high with both players playing at their highest level at the same time. Thiem had a slight loss of focus late in the first set when he served to stay in the match at 4-5 down. He was leading at 40-15 up when he hit a forehand wide, double faulted, sent a backhand long and finally lost his serve and the set with a backhand error into the net.

The last two sets were tiebreakers and Thiem was lucky to eke out the victory in the first tiebreak; however, he was not so lucky in the deciding set tiebreak. Ebden had an opportunity to avoid the second tiebreak; however, Thiem was not willing to concede defeat that easily and he broke back to force the third set tiebreak. Ebden would not be denied today and the Australian redoubled his effort and was rewarded with the 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(4) victory.

SOURCE OF IMAGE:  serveandrally original (Matthew Ebden)

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