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Matt Ebden and Rohan Bopanna are into the Australian Open Men’s Doubles Final after a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 [10-7] victory over unexpected semi-finalists Zhizhen Zhang and Tomas Machac.


The second seeds – who overcame doubles specialists Andres Molteni and Maximo Gonzalez in the quarterfinals – faced a different challenge in two top-100 singles players Zheng and Machac; and were again equal to it.


I think the matchup today was tough. The guys really made us work through every single point, every single game,” Bopanna told the media.


Holding a 29-year age gap over the Chinese / Czech combination, Bopanna and Ebden put one foot into the final, taking the opening set 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.


After dropping the second, the local favourites took control in the decider and served for a place in Saturday’s final at 5-4, before ceasing the opportunity and requiring a match tiebreak.


Having experienced similar situations over the past twelve months, the pair were able to stay positive and ultimately prevail 10-7 in the super tiebreak.


I think the key is to keep communicating. It is important to keep each other positive and keep pushing each other,”Bopanna revealed.


Matt came and spoke to me at that changeover, and he kept me positive there.”


It was a sixth tiebreak win from six tests this fortnight, two of which were match deciders, and ultimately put Ebden and Bopanna into their second consecutive Grand Slam Final.


Ebden will be contesting his second Australian Open men’s doubles final after he and Max Purcell lost to Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the 2022 decider.


These are the matches you want to be playing and competing for,” Ebden said.


“I know what it's like to win Wimbledon and to win here in mixed. I know what that's like to lose as well.


“It's where we want to be playing our tennis and giving ourselves a chance to win all these big tournaments.”


For 43-year-old Bopanna, who is now the number one ranked men’s doubles player for the first time, it is a maiden Australian Open final in this format, having not surpassed the third round in sixteen previous attempts.


It's amazing to be back in another Grand Slam final, and at a different Grand Slam,” the Indian said post-match.


I consider this to be the home Grand Slam, coming from the Asian continent.”


As a pair, they’ll be looking to go one better than the 2023 US Open final, where Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram came from a set down to claim the trophy.


Ebden and Bopanna will face either Italian duo Andrea Vavassori and Simone Bolelli or German pair Yannick Hanfmann and Dominic Koepfer on Saturday, seeking to become the third straight men’s doubles champions to feature a local Australian (after Kyrgios/Kokkinakis in 2022 and Hijikata/Kubler in 2023).


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