West Australian Matthew Ebden has suffered the heartbreak of being knocked out of the Australian Open in a five-set marathon for the second successive year.
Ebden, the world’s 108th ranked player, lost to 23rd seed Mikhail Youzhny 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3.
Ebden had match point in the fourth set but his backhand down the line sailed wide and he was then broken in the next game.
Having been two sets to nil up against Japan’s Kei Nishikori last year, Ebden will be devastated tonight. His match lasted three hours and 59 minutes and he had his chances to win.
Ebden converted only four of his 18 break points throughout the match and just one of seven in the fourth set.
Fellow West Australian, wildcard Bojana Bobusic, has been bundled out in the first round after losing to a seeded player for the second successive year.
Bobusic was gallant in the 7-5, 6-0 loss against fourth seed Agnieska Radwanska. The 307th ranked Australian broke her opponent in the first game only to immediately get broken.
Playing an aggressive style which highlighted her brutal backhand, Bobusic served for the set at 5-4 but didn’t win another game for the match.
Radwanska controlled the second set with deft slices and drop shots. Bobusic couldn’t maintain her performance from the first set as the second set lasted less than half an hour.