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ALBURY’S Brandon Vescio is hoping a rigorous two-week training block with Australian star Matt Ebden will bolster his chances of success in this week’s Margaret Court Cup.
The No.1 seed kicked off his campaign with a 6-2 7-6 win over Queenslander Ryan Schwab in the second round yesterday with the right-hander in ominous form.
Defending champion Jade Culph also impressed in defeating Matthew Leffler in his open’s singles clash.
Vescio, 21, said he felt strong after spending two weeks training with Eden and his coach Mark Shanahan in Perth before Christmas.
“It’s helped me heaps,” Vescio said.
“I was a hitting partner for a couple of weeks and it showed me how hard you to have to work to be a professional.
“My fitness is a lot better and I’m hitting the ball cleaner.
“It’s definitely helped my game.”
Vescio took the first set comfortably before the determined Schwab hit back strongly in the windy conditions and took the second to a tiebreaker.
“The wind was really intense,” he said.
“I was struggling to get my ball toss right.
“I just wanted to get through and hopefully tomorrow is an easier day with the conditions.”
Vescio, who played a series of tournaments around Sydney last year, will compete in the Victorian Grasscourts Championships later this week.
Culph was also relieved to advance to today’s quarter-finals.
“I just concentrated on holding serve because of the wind,” Culph said.
“I tried to get as many balls back as possible and make as many first serves as I could.
“It was tricky out there.”
All seeded players had the bye in the first round.
Culph has dominated the Margaret Court Cup for the past two years and his task of clinching the hat-trick will be made easier with Shanahan unavailable due to coaching commitments with Ebden.
The open singles will continue at Wodonga today with the final to be played at Albury Grasscourts tomorrow.