• ATP Tour

Blake stunned by Ebden comeback

ESPN staff
July 19, 2012
James Blake came up short against Matthew Ebden in Atlanta © Getty Images

Former world No. 4 James Blake tumbled out of the Atlanta Open after a terrific fightback from Matthew Ebden, who progressed to the quarter-finals 6-7(8) 6-4 6-4.

Blake, whose season has been ravaged by knee problems, was on course to reach a first ATP World Tour quarter-final since a semi-final showing in Stockholm last October when he edged a thrilling first set on a tiebreak.

However, his Australian opponent began to serve with authority and this enabled him to attack the Blake delivery; a single break of serve enough to force a deciding set. Ebden, who earned a big win over Mardy Fish at Indian Wells in March, continued to play with freedom as the match wore on. He attacked the Blake second serve, which was by now faltering more often than it was firing, and two breaks to one earned him a first last-eight appearance since last October in the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai.

Top seed John Isner recovered from a sluggish start to account for Ruben Bemelmans 4-6 6-3 6-4. Isner launched 16 aces to progress to the final eight, but the American will be hoping to improve the impact of his second serve as he failed to win 50% of those points.

Big-serving left-hander Gilles Muller secured his first win over reigning champion Mardy Fish, although the American was leading 6-4 3-2 when he was forced to retire.

At the German Tennis Championships, top seed Nicolas Almagro breezed past Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 6-3. The Spaniard, who reached the final last year, did not have everything his own way but his aggression from the back of the court proved too much for the Russian in the end. Sixth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, entering the tournament on the back of his first grand slam quarter-finals at Wimbledon, safely negotiated his way past the challenge posed by Italy's Fabio Fognini, the German prevailing 7-5 6-2 in an hour and 20 minutes.

Third seed Juan Monaco also progressed, beating Spanish qualifier Daniel Munoz-de la Nava in straight sets, while Jeremy Chardy beat wildcard Julian Reister to advance.

And at the Suisse Open in Gstaad, top seed Janko Tipsarevic survived a scare to dispatch Martin Fischer in three sets. Losing the opening set appeared to spurn the Serb into action and, once he dragged the match into a final set, there was only going to be one winner.

Second seed Marcel Granollers crashed at the hands of Lukasz Kubot, while Grigor Dimitrov battled to a three-set win over Dustin Brown.

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