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Dolgopolov gives Ebden the boot in Open

A bizarre incident with his opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov’s shoe wasn’t enough to boost Matt Ebden into his first-ever grand slam third round.

The Australian pushed hard but couldn’t match the strike-power of the Ukrainian, with the world No.37 winning 7-6 (7-0) 6-3 6-4.

Dolgopolov was fuming early in the second set when his shoe came off as he raced in for a shot.

He got to the ball but Ebden hit a winner.

The chair umpire called a let and ordered the point be replayed but, after Ebden protested that it was obstruction and the point should be his, the umpire changed her mind.

“I was too quick to call a let,” she told Dolgopolov, who said he wouldn’t continue until the match referee came on to the court.

“This is a joke,” he said.

Post-match Ebden, who had never encountered a loose shoe before, said the rule was clear.

“I don’t know why she called a let as it’s obstruction of play – and if obstruct play you lose a point, it’s bad luck.”

While Ebden won that game, Dolgopolov regained his focus to steam through the second set and take full control.

The Australian No.2 actually served for the first set, up 6-5, but lost 11 points in a row to hand it to his opponent.

“I didn’t do all that much wrong so it was frustrating,” Ebden said.

“I felt I was still playing well enough to come back in the second or third set … there’s fine lines.”

Ebden, who upset 16th seed John Isner in round one, hoped he had done enough to earn a Davis Cup recall for next month’s tie against Germany.

“I haven’t been asked,” the 30-year-old said.

“Could I be a chance, sure, but that’s for the captain and coach to decide.

“I’d love to go – I’d love five or six of us to go and whoever is playing or feeling the best than choose the team from there.”

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