Basel: Popyrin stuns Ebden, Millman beaten
Alexei Popyrin makes his ATP breakthrough against fellow Australian Matt Ebden at the Swiss Indoors.
Teenager Alexei Popyrin earned his first ATP main-draw win as he saw off fellow Aussie Matt Ebden in the first round of the the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
The 19-year-old from Sydney, who came through qualifying, hit 12 aces and broke serve twice as he won 7-6(4) 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes.
Popyrin, ranked 135 places below Ebden at 179 in the world, goes on to face second seed Alexander Zverev or Robin Haase in the second round.
Fellow Australian John Millman missed out on a rematch with Roger Federer as he went down 7-6(3) 6-2 to Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
Millman caused a huge upset by beating Federer at the US Open last month and would have faced the 20-time Grand Slam champion again in Basel had he won his opener.
Popyrin is projected to crack the world’s top 150 after his win over Ebden.
A Roland Garros junior champion in 2017, Popyrin this year has built a win-loss record of 46-25, helped by winning his first career ATP Challenger title in Jinan, China in August.
He also came through qualifying to reach the main draw at ATP events in Sydney and Stockholm before doing the same this week in Basel.