Melbourne, Australia, 5 December 2023 | Dan Imhoff

Rounding out 2023 at a career-best world No.4, Matt Ebden has stamped himself as a force in doubles this season.

The West Australian reached seven finals this year, from which he claimed two titles at Indian Wells and Doha, alongside Indian veteran Rohan Bopanna.

Ebden shaved more than 20 places off his doubles ranking since he first teamed up with Bopanna in January, and together they finished as the world’s second-best duo in 2023.

While unable to defend the Wimbledon doubles crown he won with Max Purcell in 2022, Ebden still managed to reach the semifinals at the All England Club with Bopanna.

Their best Grand Slam result of 2023 was a runner-up finish at the US Open, where they fell to two-time defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.

“We’ve been able to build and learn off each other, help balance each other out, push each other,” Ebden said.

“It’s been a growing partnership, and it’s been great. We talked about our goals… this year when we started, and… (I’d) come off winning Wimbledon playing one of the top teams, and I know Bops has been No.3 and being in the finals of Slams.

“I said, ‘Look, I want to win Grand Slams. I want to get to No.1’. I said, ‘Are you in?’ He said, ‘I’m in, mate’. So we’ve been building and going for it… It’s encouraging times. For our partnership, we’re going great. I see everything good in the future.”

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While they let a championship point slip in their first final together at Rotterdam in February, Ebden and Bopanna had found their groove and rebounded with a title in Doha.

Less than a month later, they denied top seeds Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof at Indian Wells for Ebden’s first ATP Masters 1000 trophy.

The triumph in the Californian desert was the first of a tour-leading four ATP Masters 1000 finals the pair contested for 2023, the best effort by an Australian player in 22 years.

It was enough to elevate Ebden to a top-20 debut before he and Bopanna reached their first clay-court final together at the Madrid Masters seven weeks later.

The pair’s runner-up showing at Flushing Meadows in September was the first of three straight finals.

They were finalists at the Shanghai and Paris Masters and carried that form to Turin, where they reached the semifinals at the ATP Finals in Ebden’s debut.

The 36-year-old became the first Australian since 2017 to advance as far at the season-ending championships.

He closed out the year as a crucial part of Australia’s run to consecutive Davis Cup finals in Malaga, winning all four doubles rubbers he contested alongside Purcell.

While no doubles rubber was played in the final defeat to Italy, there was a sense of unfinished business.

“I think we all really believed we could do it. I think we still do,” Ebden said. “I don’t think anything’s changed. Just didn’t fall our way on the day.”

This is Ebden’s third Newcombe Medal nomination.

Newcombe Medal
Honour roll
Year Winner
2022 Ash Barty
2021 Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott
2020 Not presented
2019 Ash Barty
2018 Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur
2017 Ash Barty
2016 Dylan Alcott
2015 Sam Groth
2014 Nick Kyrgios
2013 Lleyton Hewitt
2012 Sam Stosur
2011 Sam Stosur
2010 Sam Stosur

> RELATED: Alex de Minaur eyes repeat Newcombe Medal success

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