February 19, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
7-5, 5-7, 10-8
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Did you come in with any kind of expectations?
MATTHEW EBDEN: I mean, I don't know. I think, yeah, first time we've played with each other, but we've known each other for five, 10 years at least. Seen each other at tournaments all around the world, always say hi, how you going, whatnot. I've watched Sam and maybe she's seen me play as well. Pretty familiar with each other. Feels kind of natural and neutral, pretty normal out there I suppose for a first-time pairing.
I think just being experienced has helped us gel quickly. We know what to expect out of the format of mixed doubles firstly, and also we know what to expect from each other, what we're after.
We had some good practice sessions together. We put in some good work, quite a few hours of good practice and good warmups and good work, working on our game, getting ready for our matches.
Yeah, so far so good.
Q. Do you feel your experience was key in the tiebreak?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I think we're all used to playing super tiebreaks in the doubles format throughout the year anyway. But, yeah, we all know how to play doubles out there. Joe obviously lost in the semis of the men's doubles today.
MATTHEW EBDEN: He won.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Oh, sorry. Des made the final of the French Open last year. We all knew what was going on. The super tiebreaks can go any way. Sometimes they're a bit of a shootout. We got a really good start. Our game plan was just to stay aggressive and keep up good energy and do what we were doing well. Thankfully we were able to execute all of that when it really mattered.
Q. What does it mean to be into another Grand Slam final?
MATTHEW EBDEN: I mean, yeah, it's why we play for sure. Looking back, Sam has won singles, Grand Slam. I won a mixed. She's won doubles and mixed as well. At the end of the day it's things like Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Grand Slams that are dreams that you play for. It's no different.
People say it's only mixed doubles. Sure, it's not singles but doubles. We certainly make the most of it, feel like it's important and worth every effort. We do our best for it.
Yeah, to play on Rod Laver Arena yesterday with the crowd, get it done. To play again there tomorrow night, that's for sure the fun and motivation for why we play. Sam and I both last year didn't go away after COVID. We were home for most of last year, both of us.
To come out and start January well, get a bunch of matches and rhythm in February as well, it's a great start to the year for us. Probably makes us feel good going forward the rest of the year having the rest of our careers.
Q. We've seen some other doubles teams on the tour that have team names. Have you come up with a team name?
MATTHEW EBDEN: No.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: No.
MATTHEW EBDEN: Can you help us?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Or Stebden, Stubden.
Q. Sanden. Sound like Stolle.
MATTHEW EBDEN: We'll have to put it to a vote or get some recommendations. You guys can help decide.
Q. Final tomorrow night. Must be looking forward to it. What do you make of your rivals there?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Really excited to play tomorrow night. I think after obviously the women's final, hopefully that's a great final, and hopefully everyone will stick around to try to watch two Aussies try to win one ourselves.
Any Grand Slam final is great. To have another one here at home for both of us in that arena after women's singles final, going to be really exciting.
Q. You're saying you've known each other for up to 10 years. In one sense has it surprised you the way you've meshed this week?
MATTHEW EBDEN: Not really, to be honest. Like we said, we both know that we're experienced on the tour, singles and doubles and mixed doubles even. I'm not really surprised, to be honest.
I mean, I think mixed doubles, you never really know. You go out there with all the plans and stuff, but you both I suppose have the experience to know, right, anything can happen here, let's be ready for anything. Maybe that just boded well for us. Strange points or funny things happen, that's okay because we expect the unexpected here.
Not really. If you'd said we'd be in the final at the start of the week, I'd say, yeah, I could see that. At the same time, can you win it? Well, of course, but we know how this works. It's one by one, match by match. There's a ton of good players in the draw, plenty of Grand Slam titleists and finalists that we're playing against. Tomorrow no different. And no different I suppose for our opponents playing us as well.
Great for tennis. Good battles all around. I think tomorrow will be no different. It will be great, like Sam said, if the Aussie crowd stays and support us. We're the last Aussies standing. Hopefully they can stay and support us.
Q. Did you contemplate playing together before?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, don't know.
MATTHEW EBDEN: You had a higher ranking.
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Sometimes I haven't played mixed either. Look, especially in Australia, I've always loved to try and play with an Aussie, if any chance. Yeah, I mean, I'm glad we've been able to do this, that's for sure.
MATTHEW EBDEN: I mean, Sam also had a real high doubles ranking sometimes, too. Sometimes someone with a high doubles ranking will ask her to team up, get in on the ranking. That's for sure sometimes a factor, too. We just never really quite came across or worked yet. Glad it has now. I shotgun you as a partner for the rest of our careers.
Q. Looked like it was Serena's last tournament without her saying so. Are you the kind of person that will make a statement or are you likely to just not turn up?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Yeah, I don't know. I think maybe it's harder, you maybe don't know at the start of the event. If I went through and won the singles here, maybe I'd be like, Yup, I'm good, won the title, end on a high. I think maybe it depends when you actually know.
In some ways it would be pretty hard to be playing the tournament knowing it's your last one. In other ways maybe it would actually be nice because you can kind of just relax into it, enjoy every single second. I think it's got positives both ways.
It's such an individual thing to kind of go through. Yeah, sometimes it's tough to know whether it's the time or not. I hope Serena's back. I guess time will tell.
Q. Is that something you'd cry about?
SAMANTHA STOSUR: Probably.
Q. The atmosphere was great out there today. Was it nice to play in front of a crowd on your side?
MATTHEW EBDEN: So nice. It was a highlight for us yesterday being on Rod Laver Arena. That was extra special. Today was no different. I wasn't sad, but wanted to be on Rod Laver again. The doubles people who played on Rod Laver today, the doubles teams, they said there was a bigger crowd out there for our mixed doubles than they had for some of the doubles. Obviously coming out supporting the Aussies. I wasn't sure if there would be many people. Only match scheduled out there all day. Heck of an effort for everyone to come out and support us. We are really thankful and grateful. Opponents said even if the crowd was for us, it was great to have fans and atmosphere. That's what Aussie Open is all about. Hopefully tomorrow a great crowd, atmosphere, fun. We're excited for it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports