Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell won the men’s doubles title against the Croatian duo Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic – and the final was a real thriller.
It was one of those five-set thrillers that you won’t forget in a hurry. It went into a tie-break three times before Ebden/Purcell clinched their first Grand Slam title – in a match tie-break, of course – thanks to a 7:6 (7:5), 6:7 (3:7), 4:6, 6:4 and 7:6 (7:2) victory. The fact that it was so dramatic even amounted to a small miracle.
It was not certain for a long time that the final would take place at all, because Mate Pavic had broken his right wrist in the semi-final against Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah. The left-hander still competed, but could only play his backhand one-handed due to the injury and also had noticeably less stability when volleying – and yet the Croats had the chance to successfully defend their title from the previous year. In the decisive fifth set, they were already a break ahead, but could not hold on to it and also missed two more break points at 4:4.
Australians show comeback qualities again
So it was Ebden/Purcell who rejoiced, once again showing their comeback qualities – they had already fought off match points against Ben McLachlan (Japan) and Andre Goransson (Sweden) in round one, as well as against the British-American duo Joe Salisbury/Rajeev Ram in the semi-finals, against whom they even came back from a 2-0 set deficit.
The crowning glory followed in the final. It was the first triumph by an all-Australian pair at Wimbledon since Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbrige in 2000. One Wimbledon title has already gone to Australia, a second could follow on Sunday. Then Nick Kyrgios will reach for the stars against Novak Djokovic. His starting position is not dissimilar to that of Ebden/Purcell, the 27-year-old is the underdog against the defending champion, who will not be playing with a broken wrist.