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Date with the reigning king

sports Updated: Jun 08, 2011 01:45 IST
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Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden earned a shot at world number one Rafael Nadal thanks to his 7-5, 6-3 win over India’s Somdev Devvarman at Queen’s on Tuesday.

Ebden, who was born in South Africa, has spent most of his short career playing on the unglamorous Futures Tour and is currently ranked 168th in the world.

But the 23-year-old will be mixing with tennis royalty in west London on Wednesday when he takes on Nadal in the Spaniard’s first singles match since winning his sixth French Open on Sunday.

Nadal arrived in London on Monday just 24 hours after his final victory over Roger Federer to begin preparations for the defence of his Wimbledon title.

And his first opponent will be the unheralded Ebden, who secured an impressive victory over Devvarman even though the Indian is 101 places above his opponent in the ATP rankings.

Ebden just edged a tight first set and then pressed home his advantage with a break late in the second set before holding off Devverman to clinch the biggest win of his career.