The Australian team of Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell won the Wimbledon men’s doubles championship on Saturday after defeating Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic of Croatia 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(10-2) in the championship match.
The Australians’ road to the final was long and grueling; five of their six matches went to five sets, and they avoided losing a total of eight match points in the process.
This is first title of Australian pair
The pair earned their maiden Grand Slam championship, becoming the first Australian team to win the men’s doubles at the All England Club in 22 years since Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won the competition.
Mark Woodforde was with us this morning on the warm-up court, according to Ebden, who on Thursday lost the mixed doubles final.
We’ve also been talking with Todd Woodbridge, so it’s safe to say that we channeled the Woodies. They make excellent mentors.
Left-handed Pavic, who was playing with a broken bone in his right wrist, was doing his best to play with one hand while unconsciously tucking his right arm in during rallies and forgoing two-handed returns. Pavic had his wrist wrapped up.
“It was close, and it was difficult to play. It’s a little disheartening because it’s obvious we were close. You’re not a hundred percent, he declared.
They merited to triumph. We fought them with everything that we had. We should be quite proud of who we are, in my opinion.
Match was settled in a Tiebreak
In two close sets decided by tiebreaks, there was almost anything separating the pairs. However, the Croatians gained the upper hand when Purcell double-failed in the opening game of the third set, giving them the set.
The Australians, on the other hand, pounced at 5-4 in the fourth set, switching strategies and playing aggressively on their returns to pound out a string of winners, winning the set and forcing a decider as they pumped up the Centre Court crowd.
“Towards the end of the third set, something seemed to alter. Let’s simply play on Center Court and have fun, we thought,” Purcell remarked.
However, the Croatians paid it forward and broke to take the lead 3-2 in the last set. Pavic danced around the court with his arms lifted while Mektic watched in shock at his teammate’s accurate returns.
Players from both teams blundered on important points when the stakes were high due to the heightened emotions, but the Australians maintained their composure and came back to draw the game at 4-4 before moving on to the tiebreak.
The Australians triumphed in the final, which was the first time in Wimbledon doubles history that the match and title were decided by a 10-point tiebreak. The match lasted an epic four hours and eleven minutes.