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Ebden: "I've Made Good Progress"

Indian Wells, U.S.A.

Ebden© ATPMatt Ebden notched his first Top 10 win Monday when he beat World No. 8 Mardy Fish.

Australian Matthew Ebden recorded his most impressive win to date on Monday in Indian Wells, upsetting top-ranked American and World No. 8 Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-4 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Following his victory, ATPWorldTour.com caught up with the 24 year old to discuss his hard-court success and how he proposed to girlfriend Kim.

Last year in Indian Wells, you qualified into your first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event and were ranked No. 182. How different is it for you this time around, being inside the Top 100 and having a number of tour-level wins under your belt?
It definitely is different. I think last year was the first time I played a Masters 1000 qualifying or main draw, so it was nice to qualify then. I had quite a few wins on the ATP Challenger Tour leading into the tournament. I’ve made good progress since then with a lot of improvements. I just really believed in myself and was able to continue moving up, and here I am a year later.

So far in your career, your best results have come on hard courts. Why does your game suit them so well and what do you need to do to translate that same success on the other surfaces?
I grew up playing on mainly hard courts. There were some clay and grass courts here and there, but mostly hard courts. I like to play an all-court game, so that’s probably why they’ve suited me. The hard courts these days are not that fast, so I’m hoping that in a couple months time, I’ll be able to play a similar game on the clay courts. Grass is one of my favourite surfaces too, so I’ll keep working hard to continue improving my game to do well on all of them.

You got engaged following the Australian Open. How did you pop the question… did you plan something extravagant or go straight for it?
I did plan something actually. My fiancée Kim is a bit of an idealist and likes a story, so we had a whole bunch of fun dates. It was sort of our five-year anniversary. I ended up proposing at sunset overlooking a beach.

Before turning pro on the ATP World Tour, you were looking to study law at Western Australia University. If you had to pick a favourite courtroom TV drama, which show would it be and why?
My fiancée is a lawyer funny enough. It would probably be Law & Order. I’m always watching parts of it. But since my fiancée is the lawyer, maybe I’ll leave that to her and concentrate on tennis.

… did you have a preference with the original series, Special Victims or Criminal Intent?
Probably the Criminal Intent episodes because those are pretty interesting. If they’re not too gory or violent, Kim will watch them with me sometimes too.

Favourite…
Video Game:
Counter-Strike
Ice Cream Flavour: Chocolate
City To Visit: New York
Nickname: Matty
Beach To Surf: That’s a good one… it’d have to be Margaret River, West Australia

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© Ben Solomon

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