Turin, Italy, 15 November 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Matt Ebden and Indian partner Rohan Bopanna have kept their hopes alive at the ATP Finals in Turin.

The third seeds scored their first round-robin win at the prestigious season-ending championships on Wednesday, beating the all-Australian pairing of Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler 6-4 6-4.

Ebden and Bopanna proved untouchable on serve in the 70-minute encounter, firing 12 aces and conceding a total of only five points across their service games.

“We improved from the first match and it made a big difference,” Ebden said.

“I think we served close to flawless and returned really, really well and gave ourselves a lot of chances.”

The business-like performance helped Ebden win the first meeting between Australian doubles players at the ATP Finals in 25 years.

“They played a bit too good for us today,” Hijikata conceded. “They were pretty sharp and served well.”

It provides another highlight in a history-making week for the Aussie contenders.

This is the first time in 36 years that three Australian players are making their ATP Finals debut in the same year, while 22-year-old Hijikata is the youngest doubles player from any nation to qualify at the event in 28 years.

> READ: Hijikata rewrites history at ATP Finals

Ebden, who currently sits at a career-high ranking of world No.4, is in contention too to claim the world No.1 ranking this week.

The 35-year-old from Perth could rise to the top of the ATP Tour rankings with a title-winning run.

“There’s a lot on the line for every match,” Ebden said. “A lot of points, a lot of money … there’s a lot to play for.”

His immediate focus, however, is now on their upcoming final round-robin clash with reigning Wimbledon champions, Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Brit Neal Skupski.

Victory is needed for Ebden and Bopanna to progress to the semifinals.

The last Australian to reach the semifinals at the ATP Finals was John Peers, when he captured the 2017 title alongside Finland’s Henri Kontinen.

Aussies in action – ATP Finals

Men’s doubles, round robin
[3] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) d [8] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-4 6-4

Men’s doubles, round robin
[3] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND)
 v [2] Wesley Koolhof (NED)/Neal Skupski (GBR)
[8] Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/Jason Kubler (AUS) v [6] Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR)

> VIEW: ATP Finals 2023 group standings

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