"In the last few days it's been something I've been having worked on". This was Matt Ebden's take on his injured calf muscle. So where is the issue ? Why did he play the Hopman Cup if he was not 100 per cent fit ?
His statement is testimony to the fact that he was in fact injured going into the Tournament. If he admitted to the calf being 'worked on' then surely he should not have been picked to play.
Matt Ebden has been playing mainly Challenger events as he has been struggling to get his ranking back up to a level that will gain him access to the Main Draw of the bigger tournaments. The lift in intensity against some of the World's best players surely would mean that a fit body was a requirement, not an option. Was the tournament appearance fee too good to pass up ? Is it around $60,000 per team now? I would doubt if it was a cent less.
Some will say that Ebden was a good choice as he nearly beat Jerzy Janowicz of Poland who is ranked more than 200 places higher but let's put it into perspective. Jerzy has just landed from a long plane flight, he always takes a while to get going ( he was getting belted by a kid from Australia in the first round of the Aussie Open last year before he woke up ), plus it's always debatable at the Hopman Cup just how fair dinkum players are. Serena lost a set to love today, hmmmmmm.
Marinko Matosevic is now the replacement for Ebden who was the replacement for Kyrgios, the long list of replacements continue. Hewitt has been replaced in the past as has Philippoussis, the Aussie curse continues.
There are a few young Aussie tennis players knocking the ball around at the moment who are hitting it well and many have a much higher ranking than Ebden, the choice seems confusing to say the least.
The Australian public deserve to see the best players perform at the Hopman Cup and no offense to Ebden but his ranking of around 265 does not give the public their money's worth. If they want to see a player ranked 265 play then they can go and watch a Challenger event where that ranking is common place.
This year's Hopman Cup, despite what happens from now on is one where management need to take a long hard look at just who plays as the public deserve more.......