Ebden falls in Newport final
Top seed John Isner proved too strong for Matt Ebden in the ATP Newport final - but the Aussie qualifier certainly put up an admirable fight.
Australian Matthew Ebden has fallen short of his maiden ATP Tour singles title after losing the Hall of Fame Open final to American John Isner in Newport.
The 29-year-old Ebden, playing in his first ATP event final, went down 6-3 7-6(4) to the world No.21 and top seed in Sunday’s title match at the grasscourt tournament.
Qualifier Ebden, ranked 249 in the world, struggled to match the powerful service game of Isner, who sent down 17 aces to seven and won 90 per cent of points on his first serve.
— International Tennis Hall of Fame (@TennisHalloFame) July 23, 2017
Ebden started nervously, losing the first game of the match to love before being broken in the second.
The West Australian fared better in the second set, but dropped three points on serve to lose the tiebreak 7-4.
It was a huge effort to reach the final after progressing through the two-match qualification, but he denied the extra workload affected him against Isner.
“I’m not that tired to be honest. I definitely didn’t lose because of anything physical, which is great,” Ebden said.
“It’s a lot of reward for a lot of hard work, a lot of years of sacrifice.
“It’s disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week.”
Isner also became the first man in a decade to go through an entire ATP tournament without facing a break point as he used his dominant serve to full effect.
The 32-year-old became the second player to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas also accomplished the feat in Memphis in 2007.
The victory clinched Isner’s 11th career title, and his first since 2015.
“I could never imagine playing four matches and not facing a break point but I’ll certainly take it,” he said.
“I served well all week, played extremely well all week. This is a very good tournament for my serve and I knew it was going to be hard for my opponents to break me.”