Ebden Ousts Defending Champ Muller In 's-Hertogenbosch
On a day of upsets at the Libema Open, Matthew Ebden produced a big surprise, defeating defending champion Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-5.
The 30-year-old Australian, making just his second appearance at the event (1-1), withstood 12 aces and saved four of five break points en route to a surprise win. Ebden, who had lost his past three tour-level matches, needed only 84 minutes to cut short Muller's time in the Netherlands.
Muller was bidding to reach the final in 's-Hertogenbosch for the third straight year, after finishing as runner-up in 2016 (l. to Mahut) and lifting the title in 2017 (d. Karlovic). The World No. 69 will meet Marius Copil for a place in the semi-finals.
Copil produced a shock win of his own, battling past seventh seed Yuichi Sugita 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. The Romanian, who reached his first tour-level final at the Diema Xtra Sofia Open in February, hit 10 aces and won 50 per cent of second-serve return points to upset the Japanese No.2 after two hours and five minutes.
Fernando Verdasco was the only seed to make it through on Wednesday, beating Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-1. The Spaniard reached the quarter-finals for the third time after just 55 minutes, breaking serve on four occasions in the second-round clash.
The Spanish left-hander will next meet Bernard Tomic who overcame home favourite Robin Haase 6-3, 7-5. The Australian fired 13 aces and was clinical on break points, converting each of his three opportunities to advance.
Did You Know?
In his past four appearances at the Libema Open, Gilles Muller improved his result by one round. The left-hander reached the quarter-finals in 2012, the semi-finals in 2015 and the final in 2016, before eventually winning the title on his eighth appearance at the event in 2017.