Matthew Ebden thankful for Hopman Cup chance

MATTHEW Ebden and Casey Dellacqua will become the first West Australian pairing to take part in the Hopman Cup after Ebden replaced the injured Nick Kyrgios for the tournament starting on Sunday.

Kyrgios was forced to withdraw with a back problem, but Ebden (pictured) said he was delighted to have been handed the chance to play in the event, which is entering its 27th year.

"It's unfortunate that Nick has had to withdraw, but I can't express how honoured and excited I am to represent Australia at the Hopman Cup," Ebden said.

"Growing up as a junior in Perth, the Hopman Cup was our event. It was the tournament I went to when I was younger and it was one that I always wanted to play.

"I am pumped to play alongside Casey, another West Australian and someone I have known for many, many years."

Australian duo John Millman and James Duckworth, meanwhile, have started the new year on the best possible note, awarded the final two wildcards into Brisbane International.

Millman will make a welcome return to Queensland Tennis Centre next week after missing his home tournament in 2014 as he recovered from shoulder surgery.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity I've been given and the faith that's been shown in me after coming back from a pretty serious injury."

Big-serving Sam Groth also joined the main draw following the withdrawal of Juan Martin del Potro with a persistent left wrist injury.

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