Australian Matt Ebden has continued his renaissance by reaching his first ATP tour semi-final for nearly three years at the Open 13 Provence tournament in Marseille.
The 33-year-old Perth stalwart had to come from a set down to beat world No.21 Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-4 6-2 in Friday’s quarter-final at the Palais des sports de Marseille.
It felt like the most unlikely victory considering that the West Australian is ranked 266 places behind the Russian on the ATP computer but was actually just another sign of Ebden’s rejuvenation this season.
Rediscovering the form that saw him reach the world’s top 40 just three years ago, Ebden, who has already reached one quarter-final in Singapore this season, has come through qualifying in Marseille to win five straight matches.
Currently only the 17th ranked player in Australia, world No.287 Ebden had to rally after losing the first set of their indoor hardcourt contest but then dominated, breaking the Russian three times in the final two sets to prevail in one hour 52 minutes.
The South African-born Ebden will meet either Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev or brilliant Italian up-and-comer Jannik Sinner in Saturday’s semi-final, which will be the Australian’s first since he lost to John Isner in Atlanta in July 2018.
Ranked 317 at the start of the year, Ebden is guaranteed to jump to at least 220 in the rankings after his win and will be back in the top-200 should he make his first-ever ATP tour final.