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January 11, 2012

Matthew Ebden


3‑6, 7‑5, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  The close losses are always tough ones.  Talk us through your feelings now and how close you felt you got.
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, I guess it depends what approach you take to it.  It's obviously very disappointing, I'm not going to lie to you.
But you have to sort of accept it a bit and realize that probably only one guy is leaving the tournament without losing a match.
You know, it sucks to lose in the second round.  It would be nice to go further and keep winning and get on a bit of a roll.
But at the same time, very close match, and I still don't feel like I played my best tennis.  I played good in some parts, but there are still a lot of parts that have a lot to improve.  So that's sort of exciting and pretty positive, I think.
You know, yeah, I'm just going to rebuild.  I got a doubles this afternoon.  I'll keep working on some things and try to be a whole lot better next week.

Q.  We have to ask, because Jelena spoke about it yesterday and Sam, too, the pressure of playing before a home crowd.  You didn't seem to find that any problem at all.
MATTHEW EBDEN:  No, I think it's more of a bonus than any pressure.  To have your home nation cheering and supporting and playing in Australia, is very comfortable for me.  There is nowhere else I would rather play really.
Yeah, no, I don't think there is much there.

Q.  Did you come out red hot today, or did Marcos come out a bit slow?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Well, you tell me.  Did you watch any?  (Smiling.)
No, the first set was really good.  I had a few things I was working on and a few things I tried to improve from my last match.  In the first set I really did that, you know, that and a few key things on the return.  Served and played well off my return, but the serve was key.  I improved that a lot.
He started playing better as the second got going.  Got late in the second set.  I was up 30‑Love.  A bit unfortunate, someone in the crowd probably called an out ball.  I thought it was the linesman over there.
I stopped playing and ended up losing the point and got broken for that game.  It would have been nice to play the tiebreaker then and rolled the dice.  Those sort of things happen.  The next few points were‑‑ you win some, you lose some.
Overall I'm pretty happen.  It was obviously a very close match.  Very disappointing to lose.  I think the big picture is there is a lot I can improve, and I think it can just show me how far I can go.

Q.  There were a few more errors in the last few sets.  Is it as simple as that?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Um, it was tricky conditions, to be honest.  It was windy and very swirly out there.  Sometimes I'd throw the ball up to serve and it disappears, or you're going to hit a shot and ‑‑ yeah, you can hear it.
So, yeah, it makes it very tricky.  But saying that, there is always different conditions out there.  You know, you got to play the conditions as best you can.  He probably played 'em I guess one or two points better than me.
7‑6 in the third set, so, yeah, not much to say.

Q.  The double fault in the second set, was that a deflating moment for you?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, like I said, that game was terrible.  I was up 30‑Love in that game and looking good.  Obviously up a set I was pretty confident.
Yeah, threw the ball up, and before I knew it, it was down in my face almost.  I couldn't even hardly hit it.  I think a big swirl probably didn't help me.
But, you know, saying that, there is nothing to blame.  You can't blame the conditions.
Yeah, I double faulted there.  It was not a good time it double fault.  (Smiling.)
Yeah, I'll keep working on that.  I guess keep working on the serve, the shots on the back, and some things with the return that I'm working on, and take it into next week.

Q.  Couple of first round exits from the Australian Open.  What would be a successful tournament for you?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, I guess you have to look at the position I've been in before.  A few times I had to qualify, and by that time I played a guy ‑‑ I think each time was ‑‑ well, one time was Monfils, and he's 7 in the world.  I lost a close match after qualifying.
And then the only other time was I think last year I lost 7‑6 in the fourth set against Michael Russell.  Had set points in the fourth set to go to a fifth.  I don't know what you can reach much out of that, but obviously played some good tennis there.
Looking forward to, yeah, winning and getting over the line in some five‑set matches.  That's what my off‑season and the training was about a bit.  With these two tournaments now, you know, it is really a lead‑in ‑‑ as much as you want to win these one as well, the big one is obviously next week of.
I'll keep enjoying it and having fun out here and look forward to playing a Grand Slam.

Q.  Do you have a goal?  Third round?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, I mean, if I can, I really want to try to get to the second week.  That's going to mean I'll get through three or four matches, which is not easy.  Could run into all sorts of seeds.
But I think I'll show I'm capable to play at that really high level.  With the training I've done to prolong that high level, if I can sustain that over long periods of time in five‑set matches, I think I can be dangerous.
Just try to get through a few five‑set matches, best of five, and try to go deep in a slam.  That's a big goal for me right now.

Q.  You were the last Aussie in singles left.  Did you get a sense this was a chance for you to grab a bit more of the spotlight?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, you know, I heard that.  I wasn't too happy to hear, like you said, the other girls were saying they're all nervous or about the pressures.  You know, I saw Bernie saying something over in Melbourne this morning.
I'm out here playing tennis, having fun playing tennis, so I don't know what all the pressure is about.  I'm a little bit the same.  I'm doing what I love doing.  I really enjoy being out here.
Yeah, I'll keep doing my best every time.  That's the most I can do.  Hopefully, yeah, pick up some support along the way.

Q.  You said today wasn't your best tennis.
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, I think from the back of the court there was a lot improvements I could make, you know.  I think he obviously served well and puts you under pressure off the serve.  I think the return of serve is something I'm concentrating on a bit at the moment.
Obviously keep improving my serve and my attacking game.  That's obviously key.  If I can improve other little areas here and there‑‑ I mean, it's only 7‑6 in the third.  It's a difference of probably two points, one, two points.
Yeah, I'll just keep working and be that much better next time.

Q.  Happy with your own serve?  You got plenty of free points.
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, I think I served a lot better today than my first round.  The first round I don't think I served quite well, but, you know, I was able to come through that one and play a bit better there.
I think Marcos played‑‑ you got to give him credit.  He didn't do much wrong.  He played very good on his serve and made a lot of returns.  He played pretty solid and pretty good.
So you can't discount a good opponent, too.  Yeah, overall I guess I'm pretty happy, but very disappointed, obviously, to not get over the line.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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