The third Grand Slam tournament of the season is in the books. Doubles Take looks back at the results at the All England Club.
With all the changes that have been made around scoring at the Grand Slams, Wimbledon remains unique in that the men’s doubles tournament is a best-of-five-sets affair from start to finish.
This year, Matt Ebden and Max Purcell needed every conceivable bit of court time to accomplish a lifelong dream for any tennis player.
The Australians, who finished as the runners-up in Melbourne at the start of the year, had to fight off three match points in the first round against Andre Goransson and Ben McLachlan, winning in a super-tiebreak in the fifth set.
And that was only the start.
They went the distance in their next two matches before posting a straight-sets win in the quarters to reach their second major semifinal of the year. In the final four, they faced Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, the top seeds who promptly took a two-sets-to-love lead. Ram and Salisbury earned multiple match points, but Ebden and Purcell fought them all off to win 6-2 in the fifth to set up a final against the hottest team on the planet, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, winners of four of their past five tournaments together. The defending champions split the first two sets with the Aussies, then won the third to take the lead.
Unbowed, Ebden and Purcell leveled the match with a 6-4 fourth-set win, then went toe-to-toe with the Croats in the fifth. It came down to a super tiebreak to determine the winner, and all their work over the fortnight was rewarded when Ebden served up on an ace on championship point.
It’s the first men’s major doubles title for both Ebden and Purcell, who also became the first all-Australian team to win Wimbledon since “the Woodies”—Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde—triumphed in 2000.