Ebden, Matosevic boost Aussie force
Matthew Ebden and Marinko Matosevic have won through qualifying at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, joining Bernard Tomic in the main draw.
Australia’s male contingent in the main draw at the ATP/WTA event in Indian Wells has swelled significantly after Matthew Ebden and Marinko Matosevic both qualified on Wednesday.
With Bernard Tomic the only Aussie to gain direct acceptance into the tournament, Ebden and Matosevic made sure the green-and-gold were better represented after scoring straight-set wins in their final round qualifying matches.
Western Australia’s Ebden was the first of the pair to progress, defeating American Rajeev Ram 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 16 minutes.
Ebden, the world No.91 and third seed in qualifying, was especially dominant on serve, winning 80 per cent of points behind his first delivery.
Later in the day, Matosevic breezed into the main draw with a decisive 6-2 6-2 victory over another American in Michael Yani.
Matosevic continued his excellent form in the United States which began with a run to the final in Delray Beach last week, racing to a one-set lead and breaking Yani immediately in the second set to open up a 2-0 lead.
He completed the rout in just over one hour.
The successful men’s qualifiers are yet to be placed in the men’s draw, meaning Ebden and Matosevic’s first-round opponents are still to be determined.
Meanwhile, the 36th-ranked Tomic has drawn big-serving left-hander Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in his opening match. The winner will take on 10th seed Janko Tipsarevic, with the Serbian enjoying a bye into the second round.
Men’s main draw action will commence on Thursday (Pacific Standard Time).