Ebden wins thriller, Matosevic beats Gooch
UPDATE: Marinko Matosevic's three-set win over compatriot Chris Guccione has seen him join Matthew Ebden in the second round of the ATP Farmers Classic.
Australia’s Matthew Ebden is through to the second round of the Farmers Classic ATP event in Los Angeles, battling German Michael Berrer for more than two hours before clinching the win in a third-set tiebreak.
He was joined in the second round by fellow Aussie Marinko Matosevic, who came from behind to defeat compatriot Chris Guccione 3-6 6-3 6-3.
Ebden recovered from the loss of the first set and a misfiring serve to eventually post a 4-6 6-2 7-6(4) victory, setting up a second round match with Belgian veteran Xavier Malisse.
Malisse defeated American qualifer Nicholas Meister in straight sets, but not before a meltdown late in the first set when he snapped a racquet over his knee in a fit of rage.
Ebden struggled on serve in the opening two sets, barely managing to land half his first deliveries. He was also frustrated by inability to take his chances when returning, creating eight break point opportunities but being able to convert just two.
Yet despite finishing the match with eight double faults compared with four aces, his first serve found the mark in the decisive third set.
Ebden landed 79 per cent of his first serves and won 81 per cent of those points to seal the win in two hours and eight minutes.
The win continues a good run of form on North American hardcourts for Ebden, who last week reached the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 event in Atlanta.
Matosevic masters Guccione
Later in the day, sixth seed Matosevic took on fellow Victorian Chris Guccione, and for a time it looked like the big-serving lefty would continue his run of form that saw him qualify for the main draw in Los Angeles.
Guccione quickly established leads of 3-0 and 5-1, and although he relinquished one break of serve late in the first set, was still able to secure a one-set lead.
Yet his serve let him down badly in the second. Normally a huge weapon, Guccione landed just 44 per cent of his first serves, helping Matosevic gain a break and ride this advantage on his way to levelling the match.
The world No.81 maintained his edge during the third, superior on serve and breaking twice to wrap up victory in one hour and 38 minutes.
Matosevic will next face German Tobias Kamke, who upended American James Blake in three tight sets.