London, Great Britain, 4 July 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Savouring the moment is the focus for Matt Ebden at Wimbledon this year.

The 36-year-old from Perth is competing at the prestigious grass-court Grand Slam for the first time as the world’s top-ranked doubles player.

“To be the No.1 player in the world in the draw is very cool,” Ebden told after completing a first-round men’s doubles win alongside Indian Rohan Bopanna today.

“It’s something we aspire to our whole life and career. You’re constantly pushing, climbing, evaluating, reviewing and improving. Now to be able to sit there at the top of the mountain and enjoy it for a moment, it’s kind of nice.”

Since switching his focus to full-time doubles in 2022, Ebden has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the ATP Tour rankings.

He was the world No.31 when he won the Wimbledon men’s doubles title with compatriot Max Purcell in 2022 and had improved to world No.16 when he progressed to the semifinals the following year alongside Bopanna.

Now sitting at No.1, Ebden returns to Wimbledon as the first top-ranked Australian men’s doubles player since Todd Woodbridge 23 years earlier.

“I think as I got more into my 30s I started to take stock and started to make sure I enjoyed things a lot more,” said the enduring Ebden, who contested his first Wimbledon in 2010.

“It’s an important part of life, being grateful for what you’re doing and what you have. Then also remembering to celebrate and savour those moments.”

Originally scheduled to face French combination Adrian Mannarino and Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in their first-round match today, Ebden and Bopanna discovered during their warm-up they would play an alternate team instead.

“It was a whirlwind,” Ebden explained, as their coaches chased information on who would replace the French pair in the draw.

The second seeds and reigning Australian Open champions ended up facing a Dutch duo, world No.78 Sander Arends and world No.56 Robin Haase.

“They are very accomplished doubles players, so I don’t know if our draw got easier or tougher,” Ebden said. “Then dealing with the rain delays too, it was a tricky day.”

Yet Ebden and Bopanna handled these challenges with aplomb, carving out a 7-5 6-4 victory to making a winning start to their campaign.

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) d [Alt] Sander Arends (NED)/Robin Haase (NED) 7-5 6-4

Men’s doubles, first round
[15] Max Purcell (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [WC] Jay Clarke (GBR)/Marcus Willis (GBR)
Rinky Hijikata (AUS)/John Peers (AUS) v [WC] Andy Murray (GBR)/Jamie Murray (GBR)
John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Andreas Mies (GER) v Victor Cornea (ROU)/Fabian Marozsan (HUN)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v Nicolas Mahut (FRA)/Skander Mansouri (TUN)

Men’s doubles, second round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Constantin Frantzen (GER)/Hendrik Jebens (GER)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 men’s doubles draw

Women’s doubles, first round
[3] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v [WC] Sarah Beth Grey (GBR)/Tara Moore (GBR)
Daria Saville (AUS)/Yuan Yue (CHN) v [9] Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 women’s doubles draw

Mixed doubles, first round
[1] Matt Ebden (AUS)/Ellen Perez (AUS) v Andres Molteni (ARG)/Asia Muhammad (USA)
John Peers (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v [3] Mate Pavic (CRO)/Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Dayana Yastremska (UKR) v Nathaniel Lammons (USA)/Ena Shibahara (JPN)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2024 mixed doubles draw

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