Matt Ebden has fallen just short of enjoying a fairytale title-winning run in his Madrid Masters doubles debut.
Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov recorded a 6-3 3-6 [10-3] victory in today’s final, dashing the title hopes of Ebden and Indian partner Rohan Bopanna.
It is a first career ATP Masters 1000 doubles title for both Rublev and Khachanov. The close friends, who are both top-ranked singles players, had lost their two previous finals together at this level.
“Third time is a charm,” smiled Khachanov after their victory.
Ebden, a 35-year-old from Perth, and Bopanna were aiming to win their second ATP Masters 1000 doubles title of the season, having triumphed at Indian Wells in March. This would have made Ebden the first Australian to achieve this feat in 20 years.
There is some consolation for Ebden, who is set to improve from world No.22 to a career-high world No.15 in next week’s rankings.
A finals appearance also propels Ebden and Bopanna to the top position in the Race to the ATP Finals, as the team to earn the most ranking points so far this season.
Aussies in action – Madrid
Men’s doubles, final
Karen Khachanov/Andrey Rublev d  Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) 6-3 3-6 [10-3]
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