Ebden becomes lowest-ranked ATP finalist in over eight years in Newport


Matthew Ebden became the lowest-ranked ATP Tour finalist in over eight years on Saturday, but will have to overcome John Isner if he is to win his first title at the Hall of Fame Open.

World number 249 Ebden, a 29-year-old qualifier, defeated Peter Gojowczyk 6-3 6-3 in the semi-finals, with Raemon Sluiter the last player with a worse ranking to make a final, which he did as number 866 in Rosmalen in June 2009.

The South Africa-born Australia representative dropped his serve in the opening game, but immediately hit back before taking a break point in game eight to move ahead.

Gojowczyk was quickly two breaks down in the second and, despite cancelling one of those out, he was unable to stop Ebden advancing to the Newport showpiece.

Top seed Isner stands in his way after overcoming Bjorn Fratangelo in an all-American semi-final 6-2 6-4.

Isner served up an impressive 15 aces and did not face a single break point as he dispatched of his compatriot in just under 73 minutes. He will be confident of beating Ebden and claiming his first title in almost two years.

In the Croatia Open, lucky loser Andrey Rublev also secured a first ATP Tour final appearance by defeating Ivan Dodig 7-6 (7-4) 6-1. Rublev will battle Paolo Lorenzi for the Umag crown, the Italian beating compatriot Alessandro Giannessi 6-2 4-6 6-3.