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January 9, 2012

Matthew Ebden


M. EBDEN/M. Granollers
6‑1, 3‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Matthew, you'd gone out in the first round last year.  This year was better; you got the win.
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, you know, I think any match at this level it always difficult, and anyone you're playing really in this tournament is in the top 40, 50 in the world.  It's always going to be tough matches.
I'm very glad to be through.  I think I can make a lot improvements still, which is a good thing.  I don't think I played probably my best, best tennis, so that's good.
I'm glad I competed well and was able to get win.  That's what most important, like you say, especially those first rounds.

Q.  Did you feel like you improved a lot since Brisbane last week?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  You know, it's the first match of the year last week, so whereas before I would have started in qualifying, sort of ease your way in, you know, you go up against a past champion first round.  Sometimes not that easy to just get over the line.  But I was close last week, and this week it was three sets again.
But I'm glad it was me in the winner's seat this time.  I think I'm getting a lot better.  With the first win of the year, I think it'll give me confidence and just get on that winning roll again.
It makes you feel like you're right in amongst it.

Q.  Possibly Marcos Baghdatis in the next round.  How do you feel about that?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, I look forward to that.  I think it's Marcos or Dmitry.  I was joking around with both of those guys today.  They're both very funny guys, so happy to play them.
I know it'll be all serious, but they're good guys, too.  They play some exciting tennis, so I think it'll be another good match.  I'll just keep trying to get over the line each time.

Q.  Was it a nice feeling to be out there on center court today and be able to work through this match the way that you did and close it out?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, you know, the first set was obviously great.  I played really good tennis.
It was a bit of a letdown early in the second set to lose serve.¬† I think it was 15‑All, hit probably a shank return that landed right on the line.¬† Double faulted by this much, get a break, and then he started playing quite a bit better.
Guy like that is always going to play some good tennis in a match like that.  Just glad I was able to get back on top of him for the third set.  The crowd was great out there.  They were supporting me, so it was very fun.

Q.  Do you feel like that's the difference between where you are and where you're hopefully going, is being able to come through matches like this and take those few points and come through no matter what?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, it's very important.  Important.  I think last year, a lot of the matches I would lose, even the quarterfinals of tournaments, there was sometimes only a few points either way.
So if I can just put myself in the right position in those points, a lot more of those matches can go your way.  One or two of those times if you get over the line, you may go through the tournament and can be a big difference.
Yeah, it's the experience, I think, and the confidence.  Just helps to keep getting over that line.

Q.  Are there more nerves playing in Australia?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Um, I don't know about nerves.  I feel very comfortable out there.  You know, I always sort of have.  You're always going to be a bit nervous no matter where you play, but I love playing here.  I'm very comfortable here.
I think sometimes you're a bit nervous your first match of the year.  Haven't played a match for four, five weeks, so it's just getting back into the swing of things and getting the season rolling around once again.
I'm very happy it's back in the swing.  Nice to get a good win today.  I'll try to get my next one, too.

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