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October 13, 2011

Matthew Ebden


M. EBDEN/G. Simon
6-2, 2-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. By how far is that your best career win?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Well, yeah, maybe on ranking, I think he's about 12 at the moment, so I think that's probably the best, yeah.
But, you know, I guess the situation, to play for a quarterfinal spot in a Masters tournament is huge. So, you know, I was definitely a bit nervous out there closing out the match. But I think, you know, he was, too. Third-set tiebreak, it was very exciting, incredible feeling when I eventually won.

Q. Five set points. Were you starting to get the wobbles?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Five match points. Yeah, four or five. I think two of them I had good plays and he hit two passing shot winners. One of them he hit an ace. One of them I missed a volley I should have made. That was a bit disheartening.
I managed to just hang in there. You keep going with it, stick to my game plan, and eventually got over the line. Very relieving. Very, very exciting.

Q. Why now in your career, do you think?
MATTHEW EBDEN: I think, you know, it's been a journey for me. When I sat down with my team probably five to seven years ago when we planned out the sort of steps I'd have to take in my career when I was about 22 to 23, this would be the time that I wanted to try to be maybe 50 in the world or something.
On a paper graph we might have set some plans and goals. I've been sort of slowly knocking off the things one by one.
You know, it takes time. It's a very hard sport to break into. It takes a lot of work, a lot of I think maturity and I think a lot of discipline and perseverance. Those are some of the things I just kept at. It's finally starting to pay off for me.

Q. You are very calm on the court. Do you work on that?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Absolutely. You know, like I just said, it's one of those things. I think you see all the top players in the world, they all have that. That's a big side of it because I guess like I've even shown, I've been ranked down the rankings, but I can hit the ball and beat these guys who are right up there. Sometimes it's not always about the way you hit the ball, it's a little bit about, yeah, if you can stay calm, collected, get the most out of yourself. It sort of helps me play to my potential a little bit.

Q. This being a Masters event, the superstars come thick and fast. After Simon today, Murray tomorrow. What do you make of that matchup?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, well, you know, when I started winning a few matches early in the tournament, someone actually said to me, Who's in the quarterfinals? I said, Murray. So here we are. I think he hasn't lost a match for a while and he's playing obviously great tennis.
But I'm here in the quarterfinals. I've just got a huge opportunity ahead. So that's the way I'm going to look at it. I guess anyone that gets to the quarterfinals of a tournament now, you know, has an opportunity to try to win the tournament.
Obviously it's a longshot, I guess, a little bit rankings-wise or whatever. But at the end of the day, there's eight people left in the tournament and one of them's gonna win it. It's a big opportunity more than anything.

Q. You've come up playing the challengers, futures tours. Can you give us an idea of some of the more obscure places you've played quite recently?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Recently I actually haven't played -- this year I've actually played on the tour, a lot of qualifying I've had to start in. I only played maybe a few challenger events if that, and I haven't played any futures.
Where was the last challenger I played? It was in California. There's worse places around than California. But, yeah, definitely back four or five years ago, in sort of the country towns around Australia, in and around Asia. I played some challengers in India. I've been around, that's for sure.
But I guess anything worthwhile is hard to come by. Everybody has to do the hard road sometime. So hopefully I'm working my way in.

Q. Not so long ago if you hadn't made it in your teens, it was almost like you're finished. Now that's sort of reversed itself. Have you given much thought as to why that is? You're not the only guy who is enjoying the best years at your sort of age.
MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, being 23, you know, I'm not 18, 19 like Tomic, Harrison. There's only probably a handful of those guys anyway. The Rafas of the world who break through at 18, that sort of thing.
I think I chose to sort of finish my schooling, start when I was about 18. It's always going to take at least a few years. At 23, I think for where I'm at in my path, I think I'm about right where I should be. Breaking in at 23, sort of still got the whole of my career ahead of me.
Yeah, I mean, it's very tough physically, mentally, being such a long schedule all year round. I think the maturity certainly has to be there and the discipline. I think that comes with age a little bit.
Obviously you have the young guys who are just amazing players from the start so they break straight in. That's why I guess the average age for guys in the top 100 is 26 or something like that, yeah.

Q. I know it's not over yet, but you've guaranteed yourself 80 grand for this. Have you thought about the money at all?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, a little bit. I've set some things I'm aiming towards. It's just a process along the way. Yeah, it's lovely. I'm going to get taxed on a bit of that. Definitely got a lot of expenses to pay.
But, no, I don't know what I'll do with it. At the moment I'm looking at nothing other than the opportunity tomorrow night to play Murray on a big court here, quarterfinal of a Masters. That's all I'm thinking about at the moment.

Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but almost a year ago to the week you were playing in Scotland, weren't you?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Yes. Actually next week last year.

Q. What sort of hotel were you staying in? Where were you eating at night?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, that was actually not meant to happen. I was playing a couple of the big challengers in France. I rolled over from the one and missed the entry for the next one. I had nothing to do that week. So my association figured, Oh, there's a tournament in Scotland, I could go play a future. I wasn't entered. The last minute they gave me a wild card into the event. I won the event, which is great.
But, yeah, it was actually very nice. I had my girlfriend there with me. The hotel wasn't too bad.

Q. In Glasgow?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, it actually wasn't too bad.

Q. There is one then.
MATTHEW EBDEN: I can't remember the name of it. Maybe you should ask Murray. I think he's more familiar with Scotland than me.
Yeah, I mean, this time last year... I guess it's just a process, a road that I've been on. Here I am now.

Q. Quite ironic, though, isn't it?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Well, depends which way you look at it. For me I guess it's something that's been planned. I've expected it to happen in stages. It is ironic, yeah. A year ago playing a futures event, and a year later you're in the quarters of a Masters with a huge opportunity ahead. So yeah.

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