“I just always had a natural connection with the Indian guys” – Wimbledon Champion Matthew Ebden

We caught up with Matthew Ebden after a practice session at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. We had a quick chat about his partnership with Rohan Bopanna, connection with Indian tennis and goals for the season.

Q) Hey Matt, how are you doing ?

ME: Good thank you. Its nice to be in Indian Wells

Q) Thanks for making time for this interview, how did your partnership with Bops come about this year ?

Well, last year at the end of the season, my partner decided that this year, he’s going to focus on singles. He was mainly going to play mainly singles in Challengers.I was looking for a partner, and Bops was as well. He asked if I was looking for a partner and I said that I actually was. We talked about how our schedule could be, how it might work. I play on the ad side, he plays on the deuce. That works immediately. We’ve known each other a long time. I’ve known bops since he used to play singles. Way back when he came to Perth for Hopman cup, I think he was playing with Sania. So we thought okay, let’s go for it. We started, we had a couple of losses early, but it was pretty good from the word go. In our third tournament we went to the finals, had match points, won the title in the fourth one and now we’re here. We’ll try to keep it going.

Q) Talking about your partnership with Indian players you’ve played a bunch with Leander, Yuki and now Rohan. Can you talk about that connection a little bit ?

Yuki, Rohan, Leander, Divij Sharan also, a lot of the guys. Lots of good success. You have a lot of good doubles players from India , that’s for sure. Since I started on the tour, since I was 16 or 17, on the Futures, Challengers and the tour, I just always found the Indian guys really friendly. We had a really natural connection on the tour. I was born in South Africa, I’m Australian now obviously, but I grew up in South Africa, we have a large Indian population in South Africa also, in Australia in traveling we have a lot of similarities in cricket, tennis, hockey, outdoor hot weather, something that’s very natural and easy. I really like the attitude and mentality of Indian people. It’s something I really relate to, so that’s a big part of it.

Q) What are your goals for this season ?

I spoke with Bops about this last year. It’s the same as last year, no different. We won Wimbledon, we were in the finals of the Australian Open. I want to win the grand slams, I want to win the Masters 1000s, 500s, try and get to the top of the doubles rankings. I’ve had a nice long singles career, and now doubles is taking over. I always thought towards the back end of my career, I’d have 5-10 years to really focus on doubles and go for that. It’s been a quick transition this last year and a half.I’ve been able to have good success very quickly, which has been really good. I’ve got to keep improving, keep working hard, put my head down, respect everyone, everything, the tour, respect our ages, our bodies of course and enjoy the whole journey of it all.

Thanks and Good luck!

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