Friday, August 14, 2015

Ebden overcomes big deficit to beat Haas in Aptos

Matthew Ebden, foreground, of Australia won in the first round of doubles
with Yuki Bhambri of India on Wednesday. Photo by Paul Bauman
   For all that Tommy Haas has accomplished, Matthew Ebden has one thing the German veteran lacks.
   A Grand Slam title.
   Ebden won the 2013 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Jarmila Gajdosova.
   The sixth-seeded Ebden rallied from a set and an early break down to defeat Haas, formerly ranked second in the world, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Thursday and reach the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif., for the second time.
   Ebden, a 27-year-old Australian, is ranked No. 129 after reaching a career-high No. 61 in 2012. He reached the second round of a Grand Slam tournament for the fifth time earlier this summer at Wimbledon. Ebden has never gone further in a major.
Tommy Haas takes a break from practice on Thursday
morning to watch a match. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Haas, a 37-year-old wild card, underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in June 2014 and sat out for one year. He was playing in the sixth tournament of his latest comeback in an injury-marred career.
   All eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinals, a rarity in professional tennis, at the Seascape Sports Club. Ebden will meet fourth-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo, who dismissed 19-year-old Elias Ymer of Sweden 6-3, 6-4.
   Fratangelo, 22, leads the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge by a wide margin with only Aptos remaining. The American who fares the best in two of the three prescribed Challengers this summer, including Binghamton, N.Y., and Lexington, Ky., will receive a wild card into the singles main draw at the upcoming U.S. Open.
   The only player who can unseat Fratangelo is seventh-seeded Austin Krajicek, who will face second-seeded Malek Jaziri of Tunisia. Krajicek, a 25-year-old left-hander, would have to win the tournament, and Fratangelo would have to lose before the final.  
   Samantha Crawford, 20, won the women's U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge, which included the Sacramento and Stockton Challengers.
At Seascape Sports Club in Aptos, Calif.
Second-round singles
   Austin Krajicek (7), United States, def. Mischa Zverev, Germany, 6-3, 6-4.
   Bjorn Fratangelo (4), United States, def. Elias Ymer, Sweden, 6-3, 6-4.
   Malek Jaziri (2), Tunisia, def. Guilherme Clezar, Brazil, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.  
   Matthew Ebden (6), Australia, def. Tommy Haas, Germany, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Doubles quarterfinals
   Chris Guccione, Australia, and Artem Sitak (1), New Zealand, def. Ruben Gonzales, Philippines, and Darren Walsh, Great Britain, 6-3, 6-4.
   Austin Krajicek and Nicholas Monroe (2), United States, def. Marius Copil, Romania, and Andrey Rublev, Russia, 6-3, 1-6 [10-7].
   Karen Khachanov, Russia, and Elias Ymer, Sweden, def. Dean O'Brien and Ruan Roelofse (3), South Africa, 6-2, 2-6 [10-8].
Today's schedule
Center Court
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Malek Jaziri (2), Tunisia, vs. Austin Krajicek (7), United States.
(Not before noon)
   Bjorn Fratangelo (4), United States, vs. Matthew Ebden (6), Australia.
   Kyle Edmund (3), Great Britain, vs. Yoshihito Nishioka (8), Japan.
(Not before 4 p.m.)   
   Malek Jaziri, Tunisia, and Ze Zhang, China, vs. Yuki Bhambri, India, and Matthew Ebden, Australia.
(Not before 6 p.m.)
   John Millman (1), Australia, vs. Taro Daniel (5), Japan.

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