Traralgon VIC, Australia, 26 October 2017 | David Packman

Second seed Matthew Ebden has progressed safely to the quarterfinals at the Latrobe City Traralgon ATP Challenger after defeating Chris O’Connell in three sets, 6-4 4-6 6-2.

“I am just continuing to work on myself with the people around me,” Ebden said after the victory.

“It’s all improved in the last couple of months especially,” he added. “The first six months of the year was tough obviously, having no ranking and building up something from nothing really.

“It was a good test of many things, I suppose, it wasn’t easy. But it’s good to have a little bit of momentum now, lots of matches and some good tennis behind me. I just want to try and finish the year well.”

After virtually missing the whole of 2016 through injury, Ebden, now 29, has found his stride recently, in August reaching a maiden ATP Tour final in Newport and pushing towards the top 100 once again – the former world No.61 currently stands at No.120.

Furthermore, he has maintained a positive 2017 ATP win/loss ratio of 9-7.

“That’s a very good sign,” Ebden said. “Lots of good things are happening.”

Immediately standing in the West Australian’s way is 21-year-old American Noah Rubin, the No.5 seed in Traralgon.

The winner will face either Bradley Mousley, a three-set winner over German Sebastian Fanselow on Thursday, or the resurgent Jason Kubler, in a semifinal.

Kubler has arguably been the standout player thus far in Traralgon, the qualifier having dispatched third-seeded Taro Daniel of Japan 6-2 6-4 in the opening round before taking care of Andrew Whittington 6-2 6-2.

Top seed Jordan Thompson was forced to retire due to illness in his second round encounter with Maverick Banes on Wednesday and as a result the Queenslander moves ahead to now meet American Evan King (No.6) for a place in the semifinals.

Alex Bolt – who posted a strong 6-2 6-2 win over the in-form Andrew Harris – and yet another American, Alexander Sarkissian, will play for the final spot in the last four.

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