Matt Ebden: Happy times on tour
As Matt Ebden builds on a positive grass-court season with a first-ever trip to Mallorca, he is also relishing family time off the court.
Matt Ebden began this year’s grass-court season with a third ATP doubles final appearance for 2022 alongside Max Purcell in s-Hertogenbosch. After competing in Halle, Ebden is now preparing for the Mallorca Championships. And with his mother, Ann, having joined Matt, his wife Kim and their baby son Harvey in Europe, life is equally positive for the family-focused star off court.
There were definite positives to take from the start of my grass-court season in s-Hertogenbosch. The highlight was of course reaching a third doubles final for the year with Max Purcell. It’s always the aim for us to win the tournament and it’s always good to play in finals, but admittedly never good to lose them. We had our chances to win that one against Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, but unfortunately got pipped at the post with a few sudden death deuce points in the second set and a match tiebreak. Nevertheless, it was a decent start to the grass season with plenty of matches in singles and doubles.
The partnership with Max is going well. We’ve been able to consolidate quite a few times this year and we have had some unfortunate close losses too, but things are heading in the right direction. Of course, our goal is to make the top eight at the end of the year and qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, so we keep working toward that too.
Sometimes it’s hard to celebrate even after a final, so there was nothing that particularly marked the tournament. But I did have some nice family time and the balance of having Harvey and the family with me makes it fun. There are special days and evenings regardless, which is nice.
The trip to the next tournament in Halle, was an easy one. Again, we hired a private driver to take us all with our luggage door to door, as it’s only about a three-hour drive. This was also one of the reasons we planned the schedule this way as Halle in Germany is quite close to s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.
This week, I am playing in Mallorca, while Max is heading to London to compete in Wimbledon singles qualifying. I’m hoping to have singles and doubles in Mallorca as the final lead-in tournament before Wimbledon.
I’ve never been to Mallorca before, so I was definitely happy for that to be on the schedule. Being from Perth and living near the beach all my life means anytime I’m around sun or the ocean I’m very happy. Our hotel is right on the ocean so it should be nice, and with warm weather too. Stay tuned for hopefully some nice pics in next week’s edition.
Following that, returning to Wimbledon is one of – if not the highlight – of the year each season (probably equal to playing our own home slam at the Australian Open). Wimbledon has a special air and feel about it. When you step in there you instantly feel the history, the tradition, and all the special feelings associated with the All England Club. I’ll definitely never take it for granted.
Over the years we have been fortunate to have a bit of a home base in London, so we are very familiar with life in the UK. This year having Harvey along with us adds another dimension of course, and my mother Ann is with us for the month through Wimbledon to help take care of Harvey and give Kim a break and some help whenever she can, so that’s really nice.
We will stay in a two-bedroom place not too far from Wimbledon, and Kim and my mother should even be able to walk Harvey in the pram to the Wimbledon grounds, which will be nice for them. It’s a beautiful suburb and they love walking and it avoids the need sometimes for transport and car seats.
First, though, there’s matches to be played on my favourite surface here in Mallorca. With the family watching on, it’s a great time to be on tour.
Book online, play today: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!