Ebden and Thompson awarded Brisbane International wildcards
(December 21, 2017) Davis Cup hero Jordan Thompson (NSW) and his fellow Australian Matthew Ebden (WA) have both been awarded main draw wildcards for the 2018 Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.
Thompson made his mark on last year’s Brisbane International with a run to the quarterfinals, while the in-form Ebden, who secured two titles on the ATP Challenger Tour last month, will be making his sixth appearance in the tournament.
In the 2017 Brisbane International, Thompson fully justified the decision to award him a wildcard by beating David Ferrer (ESP) in the round of 16, before falling to Kei Nishikori (JPN) at the quarterfinal stage.
However, he rebounded from that defeat to win the men’s doubles in partnership with Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA), beating Sam Querrey (USA) and Gilles Muller (LUX) in straight sets in the final.
Three months later, Thompson returned to Queensland Tennis Centre as part of Australia’s Davis Cup team, and took the notable scalp of Jack Sock (USA) in the opening singles rubber to set the home team on the path to victory.
Thompson said: “Last year’s Brisbane International was definitely one of the highlights of my career, beating David Ferrer in the singles was probably the biggest win of my career at that point, and winning the doubles with Thanasi capped a great week for me. So I’m excited to get back to Brisbane, and I’d like to thank TA for giving me this opportunity.”
“After the impact he made at last year’s Brisbane International, Jordan deserves a wildcard for this year’s tournament,” said Australia’s Davis Cup Captain, Lleyton Hewitt.
“His performance on Pat Rafter Arena against Jack Sock in the Davis Cup tie was sensational, and I know he’s looking forward to returning to Brisbane, where he’s sure to receive a warm welcome from the crowds.”
Ebden, meanwhile, will be aiming to continue his hot streak after his victories on the ATP Challenger Tour at the Dunlop Srixon World Challenge, in Japan, and the Apis Canberra International.
Those victories came three months after the 30-year-old came close to making his breakthrough on the ATP Tour in the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open, where he lost in the final to John Isner (USA).
Ebden’s best performance in the Brisbane International came in 2011, when he lost in the round of 16 to Robin Soderling (SWE).
Ebden said: “The Brisbane International has been one of my favourite events to play in, so I’m really excited to start my year there again. I feel like I found a high level, especially during the second half of the year, so I’m working hard to continue and improve upon that in the new year, starting with Brisbane.”
“Matthew has made great strides in recent months, winning twice on the Challenger Tour and losing to John Isner in the final of the ATP event in Newport,” said Hewitt.
“He has a great opportunity to continue that in Brisbane, and I’ve got no doubt he’ll give a good account of himself.”
“Jordan and Matt have both worked very hard this year and achieved some exceptional results, so receiving a wildcard for the Brisbane International is just reward for their efforts,” said Cameron Pearson, Tournament Director of the Brisbane International.
“Jordan performed heroics in the Davis Cup, so he’ll be excited about getting back to Brisbane and I’m sure the home crowd will get right behind him and all the Australian players when the action gets underway on December 31st.”
Ebden and Thompson complete the wildcards for the men’s draw, with their fellow Australian John Millman (Qld) having recently been announced as the first recipient of a wildcard.