Melbourne, 16 December 2012 | Natalie Yoannidis

Australian legend Peter McNamara has joined forces with tennis ace Matt Ebden in the lead-up to the Australian summer of tennis.

McNamara this week signed on to coach West Australian Ebden in a bid to help him crack the top 30 by the end of 2013.

Ebden reached a career-high ranking of 61 in October before sliding to his current position of 105 in the world.

An elite singles player in his own right reaching a ranking of seven in the world, McNamara has coached the likes of Mark Philippoussis and Hungarian Grigor Dimitrov.

McNamara said the 25-year-old had the potential to compete with the world’s best.

“He has a chance because he doesn’t really have a weakness and that’s a nice situation to be in, as it means he can build on what he’s got,” he said.

“Matt’s one of the guys who can make a jump if he puts his head down and pushes his limits.

“We’ll take a more professional attitude towards building to the top 30 in the world and I think that’s where he can make it.”

While Ebden is excited by the signing of his new coach, he acknowledges reaching his goal will require hard work and commitment.

“He really knows what it takes to not just be a top 50 players, but to build to a top 30 or top 20 player,” Ebden said

“He’s not a magician though and it’s going to take the hard work and the hard yards to make the improvement,”

“It’s going to be challenging and I’m going to have to dig deep, but I’m not going to die wondering and I’m going to put everything into it.”

McNamara has been at Melbourne Park this week watching the December Showdown.