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January 14, 2013

Matthew Ebden


4‑6, 6‑7, 6‑2, 7‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That certainly wouldn't have been fun the way it ended?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Wouldn't have been fun?

Q.  No, last year and this year again to go out the same way.
MATTHEW EBDEN:  I don't know about that.  I was thinking last night not too many better things in life than playing Grand Slam tennis.
For me, it was a very enjoyable match.  I'm very happy with a lot of the improvements I made.  I think my physical shape, I'm a lot fitter and stronger than I was.  I've had a lot of improvements out there.  My return of service, my backhand, all that's improved a lot.  Obviously got me to match point.  Big deal.
Yeah, it's how tennis goes some days.¬† He won the point; I didn't.¬† It was a close 7‑6, one break in the fifth.
But I'm obviously very happy with the way I'm playing.  I'm a lot more confident.  I feel I have a much more complete game now than probably the last year.
Yeah, to lose is never fun.  It's not the aim at all.  But if I keep going the way I'm going, keep improving like I am, keep playing like that, I was proud of my mental effort out there as well.  I kept fighting every point.  He hit some great shots.  He's a quality player.  He's been to semis of slams.  I gave the best I could.  It was a tiny bit short.
I think if I keep playing like that, I'm going to win a lot of matches this year.

Q.  You had a low conversion of breakpoints.  Is that where you need to improve?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  I haven't looked just yet.  You're right, I felt obviously like I was there a lot of the times, which I guess is a testament to my returning.  Big improvement there.  At least I'm creating a lot of breakpoints.
Yeah, so obviously I'll keep trying to develop that even more, be a little more aggressive with it, or just get my depth a little better so I'm more in the point rather than him hitting shots.
Even the match point, I made a good return.  It was a decent point.  It was pretty windy out there, too.  It was pretty swirly.  I had a shot to put it away, anyway.
You know, all pretty positive.  Looking at all the good things out there.  Pretty happy, you know.  My game is feeling pretty complete.  As I said, physically I'm feeling a lot fitter and stronger.  My mental approach was good.  I'm happy with the way I kept fighting in every point.
I don't feel like there was much of a lull through the whole match.  I mean, obviously the third set maybe a little bit, but I kept my focus well and I kept fighting every point.  I gave the best I could.

Q.  Is that focus on fitness, you and Peter, more Peter?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  Yeah, he's definitely brought that in a lot.  We were even training the last couple of weeks through Brisbane and Sydney.  That wasn't his aim.  He didn't really worry too much about those.  I was pretty fatigued playing matches there, still played well in Sydney.  I was well up there.  Probably ran out of a bit of steam by the end.
My level is there.  The improvements are coming, they're coming quickly.  I'm feeling very complete almost out there, which sort of gives me a lot of confidence.

Q.  Peter was talking top 30, top 50 by the end of the year.  You say how you feel complete.  Do you feel that's realistic with how you're playing?
MATTHEW EBDEN:¬† Absolutely.¬† A couple months ago I was 60.¬† There's just numbers.¬† What am I going to be?¬† I'm a hundred‑and‑something right now.¬† It's just numbers.¬† Sort of pretty confident.¬† We know the level, who I can beat, where I can belong.¬† Now it's about winning all the matches.
So I'll have to qualify a couple of times for some tour events, and I might play some of the bigger challengers and try and win a couple of those and obviously boost my ranking back up, and at the same time keep building my fitness, my body, my mentality, I guess, continue to push forward with my game, get even a bigger and better game as well.

Q.  Did you say anything to Peter about the match point?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  No.  We spoke briefly about the match.  He was very positive.  In the last few weeks, like I said, he's pretty happy with things.  Said the match is not about a match point.  I mean, you can stand there and be upset that you didn't win a match point.  Obviously you are a bit.  But now thinking back at it, you know, it's a point.
He said probably more I could have maybe drummed him in straight.  That was a funny thing.  I was also proud the way in the second set I fought, come back from a double break and win that set.  That was good for me pushing forward.
Yeah, even the fourth set, after having the match point, getting broke, I fought hard to get the break back, was in the breaker, anything could have happened.
Even in the fifth, I was down a break.  The whole time I was ahead most of the time.  So, you know, he's a quality player.  Made quarters and semis of slams.  Who knows how deep he'll go next week.  Last year the guy went to quarters who I lost to.  They're obviously good players in themselves.
A few more one and two percentage here and there, I think I can be very confident with where I'm going.

Q.  Is a big weapon what you need, Matt?
MATTHEW EBDEN:  You know, I think I've shown, and we know over time stuff is there, I'm not lacking anything.  If I want to hit the big forehand, or the big backhand or the big serve, I can.  If I want to hit it a 210, I can.  If I want to be more aggressive on the forehand, I can.  You know, I've shown that.
I guess it's just about me understanding all the time where my level and how I need to be playing, which Pete's helping me a lot with that, sort of really understanding how to become a player.
It's obviously going really well.¬† The match, it was a high‑quality match.¬† What can you say?¬† Four hours of it. ¬†So, yeah, I'll definitely be trying to get better, that's for sure.¬† I'll be trying to get better on all the little things I can.
But I feel like sort of all around I've elevated things probably a few percent, and there's probably quite a few percent in everything to go.  Still a lot of room for improvement, which I guess is a big positive.

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