Simon ends Ebden's Wimbledon challenge

Ian McCullough
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Wim Aust Ebden

Australia's Matthew Ebden has crashed out of Wimbledon in the third round

Matt Ebden's Wimbledon journey has been brought to a halt by wily Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Ebden, who was looking to reach the last-16 of a grand slam for the first time, had been in rare form leading into the match.

But 2015 quarter-finalist Simon took advantage of some sloppy play from the West Australian, who served up 12 double faults, winning 6-1 6-7 (7-3) 6-3 7-6 (7-2) on Court 18

The match got off to a wretched start for Ebden, who had never previously lost to Simon, as he surrendered the first set in just 20 minutes.

Simon, ranked 53, two places below Ebden, broke his opponent's first two service games and closed out the set in confident fashion.

The world No.51 was much improved in the second, holding throughout and powering to victory in a tiebreak, highlighted by a majestic running forehand that clipped the baseline on the Simon serve.

But he squandered a break point early in the third set and it proved to be costly with Simon converting one of his own in the next game to open up a 3-1 lead with a sweetly-struck forehand winner.

Ebden had a chance once again to break back immediately but another unforced error handed the initiative back to Simon who made no mistake to lead 2-1.

Another early break in the fourth set seemingly put Simon in control but Ebden hauled himself off the canvas winning three successive game to open up a 6-5 lead.

Simon held firm in a tense game to force another tiebreak but Ebden double faulted to hand him the minibreak on a plate and the 33-year-old from Nice held his nerve to book a last-16 clash with Juan Martin del Potro.