Young Australian hopeful Matthew Ebden has moved through to the second round of the Australian Open after claiming the prized scalp of big serving 16th seeded American John Isner in four quick sets at Margaret Court Arena on the opening day of the tournament.
Ebden wrapped up the match in just over two hours – no set lasting more than 32 minutes – for an eye catching 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-3 win.
The 20-year-old from Perth was ecstatic, but in no way shocked, to claim victory as the underdog.
“I’m obviously very excited just at the level I was able to produce again on the match court,” Ebden said.
“I’m not surprised at all. I don’t know how to say, expect to win, but I know if I execute and do the things I was trying to do, yeah, I would give myself a good shot at winning.”
It is the third time in Ebden’s short career that he has advanced beyond the first round at the Australian Open.
The 78th ranked player in the world has achieved the feat six times in 15 grand slams, but has never made it through to a third round.
Ebden will get his chance to do just that when he faces Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round.
The two players have never faced each other in a tournament, but are no strangers to each other.
“I’m very aware of him,” Ebden said.
“Practiced a lot together. I know he can play at a good level.
“[He has] won tournaments, been in finals, been top 20 at least, nearly top 10. He can play at a really good level.”
Ebden’s win was a nice surprise for the Australian fans who turned out on day one.
He will undoubtedly be aided by a vocal home crowd again next time out.