World No. 287 Matthew Ebden spoke positively of world No. 21 Karen Khachanov after stunning the Russian in the Marseille quarterfinal. Ebden, who won two qualifying matches to make the Marseille main draw, recovered from a set down to stun Khachanov
4-6 6-3 6-2.
Ebden claimed the first break of the match but Khachanov responded with two breaks to win the opener. After breaking Khachanov in the second set, Ebden managed to hold on to his serve and force a decider. Ebden lost the opening game of the third set before claiming back-to-back breaks and a 5-1 lead.
Ebden served out for the match in the eighth game. "Karen is a really quality player. I knew he's gonna play really well. I have to play really aggressive and use my speed and my movement and all my shots,'' Ebden said after stunning Khachanov, as quoted by The First Serve.
"The serve, the forehand, the backhand, the volleys, the slice, defence, offence, you need it all against Karen, he's such a quality player. I'm glad that I was able to execute it really well and stick with myself, imposing myself on the court.
"You know he's got a big serve, a big forehand, so he can dictate the play if you let him, and he does it really well. So, I had to do that even better myself, on him, and it worked well."
Ebden happy that the hard work is paying off
"Last year I had nine months to work on my game, try and improve a few little parts of my game.
Even from 2018, I was getting right up near the top and to really be at the really top, I still needed to improve a few things,'' Ebden noted. "Last year I worked hard. I had nine months to try things, experiment, and make some improvements. A few key improvements and it's showing already these couple of months, I'm very happy."