Ebden heads Australian contingent in high quality Canberra field
Matthew Ebden will headline the Aussie charge at a stacked Canberra 75K ATP Challenger
West Australian Matt Ebden heads a dozen Australian hopefuls in the Canberra 75K ATP Challenger, with main draw action starting on Monday.
“It’s good to be back here,” said the world No.105. “I’ve had a good few weeks training and I’m looking forward to the new season.”
“I really want to try and push up this year (well into the top 100) and try and stay up there for the rest of my career,” he said. “I need to keep working on improving my game to make that happen.
“Things don’t just happen unless you keep looking to become a better player and a better athlete. All round, I’m just looking to make those improvements.”
Ebden takes on experienced Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the first round before a possible showdown with Ivan Dodig, the fifth seed, who must first contend with in-form Victorian Dayne Kelly.
The winner looks likely to meet world No.70 and second seed Santiago Giraldo in a potential quarterfinal.
“It’s a really strong draw this week,” Ebden said. “It’s all good quality matches and that’s what it’s about at the moment.”
Such is the depth of the field – eight players within the top 100 will compete – Giraldo must face recent Happy Valley ATP Challenger runner-up Dudi Sela in the opening round.
The top seed, Italian Paolo Lorenzi, will play his countryman Stefano Napolitano before a match-up with either Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka or Aussie Jarryd Chaplin.
Spaniards Daniel Munoz de la Nava and Marcel Granollers, seeded three and four respectively, open their campaigns on Monday with Munoz de la Nava taking on Belarusian qualifier Sergey Betov and Granollers, who has reached as high as world No.19, meeting Australian Blake Mott.
Monday also sees seventh-seeded Russian Evgeny Donskoy opening proceedings on centre court against Australian qualifier Daniel Nolan.
A number of other Australian’s will also be in action on Monday with wildcard Alex De Minaur taking on his teenage counterpart from America, Noah Rubin, while Chaplin, Maverick Banes and Steven De Waard also take to the court.
In other notable first round encounters, Happy Valley semifinalist Andrew Whittington meets Nikoloz Basilashvili. The Victorian must then face either eighth seed Taro Daniel or Frenchman Quentin Halys.
Live streaming commences on Monday with live scoring also available through www.atpchallengertour.com.