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Aussie doubles ace Ebden races into semis at ATP Finals

3 minute read

Australian Matt Ebden is still in line to finish his best-ever doubles season as both an ATP Finals champion in Turin and the world No.1.

MATTHEW EBDEN. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

The most successful year of Matt Ebden's distinguished doubles career has continued with the evergreen Australian reaching the semi-finals at the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin.

The 35-year-old Perth player teamed up with India's 43-year-old Rohan Bopanna to beat Wimbledon champions, Briton Ken Skupski and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in Friday's group decider to ensure the veteran pair made the last four.

Bopanna again enhanced his new record as the oldest man ever to win a match at the ATP Finals while both he and Ebden are still on course to end the season as joint world No.1s should they go on to lift the title on Sunday.

The pair will first have to get through their semi-final on Saturday, against Spain's Marcel Granollers and Argentina's Horacio Zeballos, who have gone unbeaten in their three matches in Turin.

Once again, the victory of the two veterans was built upon an excellent performance behind their serve, just as on Wednesday when they beat Australian Open champs Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijikata.

Ebden, who's reached the ATP Finals for the first time, and Bopanna won 35 of 40 points behind their first serve as they progressed to their 40th tour-level match of the season.

Enjoying a remarkable season in which he's featured in seven doubles finals, Ebden, who won Wimbledon last year with fellow Aussie Max Purcell, can become the first Australian man since John Peers in 2017 to lift the ATP Finals doubles crown.

And if he does end the season as world No.1 along with Bopanna, he will be emulating his fellow Australian Storm Hunter, who recently concluded the WTA season as the world's top women's doubles player.

The other semi-final will feature American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury, who beat Ebden and Bopanna in the US Open final, against Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Defending champions Ram and Salisbury finished off their perfect group campaign by beating Aussies Kubler and Hijikata 5-7 6-1 [10-2] in Friday's late match.