EBDEN, PURCELL REACH AO FINAL


Photograph: Getty Images

Australian pair Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell have booked their place in the Australian Open Men's Doubles Final with a 6-3, 7-6(9) win over two-time major champions and No. 2 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury on Thursday at Margaret Court Arena.


"Feels great. Job well done. So far so good. Yeah, it was a super tough match. Those guys arguably the best, if not the second best, team probably in the last year or two consistency-wise," Ebden said in their post-match press conference.


"We played them a few months back, lost a super close one, had some match points, could have won, didn't win. We thought we could turn it here in our home slam, home court. Yeah, it was great."


"We played well. Played even better. Closed it out well. It was close at the end there. They had their chances. We found a little lift and turned it. That's doubles. Close, Grand Slam big matches. It was fun. It was fun."


It was sweet revenge for Ebden and Purcell, who went down to the two-time slam champions in the quarterfinals of the US Open last year after holding match points.


"They just beat us 7-6 in the third at the US Open. Yeah, it was neck-and-neck. There were no breaks whole match. Long match. Close match. We had chances to win the first set, they won it. They had chances to win the second set, we won it. They were sort of up -- no, we had match points in the third first, then they had match points, then we had, then they had, then we had. They finally won unfortunately," Ebden explained.


"Yeah, we definitely played a little better. That was only our first tournament together, last US Open. This is only our second tournament. Obviously it's a good combo, really works.

We get on well, we have fun. We play great tennis, we know what we're doing, we know what we're working on, improving. I think for sure we've improved. We got to know each other even better, worked on our games, figured out where we could get even better on our serves and returns, different things, different players."


The Aussies saved four set points in the second set en route to claiming their historic victory.


"Yeah, a little more clutch towards the end there. Mattie was trying to will me to get one point on that deuce court so we could close out the match," Purcell stated.


"Yeah, finally put a return not straight under Raj's racquet, which was nice. But, yeah, I mean, doubles, huh? Anything can happen (smiling)."


The win sees Ebden and Purcell advance to the men's doubles final, where they will face fellow Australian pair Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, in the first all-Aussie men's doubles final at any grand slam since the 1980 Australian Open.


"We already just spoke to them, congratulated them. They congratulated us. It's awesome to have two Aussie teams playing off in the final. What could be better really?" Ebden said.


"Yeah, from my side, our side, no different. They've obviously got great serves, great players. Whoever we face, them or the opponents, same as today, same as last match. It's no real difference."


"Yeah, it's great. Another match, another chance. We're obviously going to go for it. We want to win as many slams as we can. There's a good chance starting Saturday night. These are the big matches you play for, what you want. This is why I want to play, play in Grand Slam finals. Should be fun."