Matt Ebden, Max Purcell win men’s doubles at Wimbledon in five-set thriller

Tennis

Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell have won the men’s doubles title, doing it the hard way.

The Australian pair beat defending champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10-2) on Centre Court.

Ebden and Purcell are the first Wimbledon champions in any event, singles or doubles, to save match points in multiple matches along the way to a title. They saved three in the first round and five in the semi-finals.

They also are the first all-Australian pair to win the men’s doubles since 2000, when Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde won.

The victory was their first Grand Slam title in their fourth major tournament as a team. They lost to Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the Australian Open final.

Ebden was playing in his second final at this year’s Wimbledon. He and Sam Stosur lost in the mixed doubles final.

They Aussie team spent more than 20 hours on court in winning the title and is also the first time since Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodford, widely known as ‘The Woodies’, that an all-Australian pair won the doubles title.

The Woodies last achieved the feat in 2000.

Speaking after the victory, Purcell stated that he believed the pair were set for an early exit.

“I thought we were out of here first round,” Purcell said.

“0-40 down in the fifth, three match points, and we just won Wimbledon. How good’s that?”

Purcell also opened up on the moment that he and Ebden decided to just let loose and have some fun, a move that ultimately proved to be a masterstroke.

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“Matt and I just combine so well, we’re picking each other up out there,” Purcell said.

“Something kind of changed towards the end of the third set.

“We just thought, ‘Let’s play on Centre Court and enjoy ourselves.’

“We did that and now we got the trophy.”

Purcell and Ebden’s triumph was also the first time a victory had occurred from a 10-point deciding tie-break in a Wimbledon men’s doubles match.

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