Shanghai: Matthew Ebden has a golden opportunity to become Australian No.1 after progressing to the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.
Ebden won through to the last eight with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Peter Gojowczyk on Thursday and can leapfrog Alex de Minaur as the top-ranked Australian player if he beats world No.19 Borna Coric on Friday.
The West Australian will rise to a career-high 40 when the rankings are released next week, but reaching the semi-finals would catapult him up to 31 – the spot currently occupied by de Minaur.
The 21-year-old Coric booked his quarter-final spot after injury forced Juan Martin del Potro to retire from their third-round clash.
Argentine world No.4 del Potro called it quits due to a knee injury he sustained during an on-court tumble before the Croatian claimed the first set 7-5.
There was no Shanghai surprise for rising star de Minaur who was swiftly dispatched from the third round by German world No.5 Alexander Zverev, 6-1, 6-4.
After a slow start de Minaur began to find his feet a little more in the second set and had two break points to level the match with the German at 4-4 but couldn't get the job done.
Matthew Ebden is having a grand run at the Shanghai Masters.Credit:AP
Zverev will face Britain's Kyle Edmund after the 11th seed conquered Chile's Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to advance.
Meanwhile Roger Federer had a tough three-set 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win over Roberto Bautista Agut.
Novak Djokovic also earned a revenge 6-4, 6-0 win over Italy's Marco Cecchinato to enter the quarter-finals.
The 14-time grand slam champion, who won the Wimbledon and US Open titles this year, had his run at the French Open stopped by Cecchinato in a shock quarter-final defeat in June.
Kei Nishikori and Kevin Anderson also won through to the last eight.
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