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January 27, 2022

Matthew Ebden

Max Purcell

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Great to see you've got a berth into the men's doubles final for the Australian Open.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Thanks. 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.

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.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You mentioned you got over the top of them in a tight one at the US Open. Was there anything you did differently today to get a different result?

MATTHEW EBDEN: They actually 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.

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.

Yeah, super happy. It's exactly where we aim to be. Yeah, we got one more match to go.

Q. You saved four set points in the second set. That was pretty clutch. How did that happen?

MAX PURCELL: It's doubles, mate. Stuff happens all the time. Couldn't quite tell you. 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.

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

MATTHEW EBDEN: Always close. He was good early in the breaker. I missed a couple. Yeah, it was, thinking, Oh, if we can just maybe get one back here somewhere. I feel like I'm ready to turn this a little, make a few good returns or serves. He did, he clutched a couple points. I made a few good ones. He came up with the goods again to finish it off.

Like yesterday, got to help each other out there. When it's one or two clutch key points, it's about obviously both being on. If you can win quick and easy, great. A lot of other good players out there, too, as we saw today, last few matches. No different next one as well.

Q. Obviously real big opponents next. Did you look at the draw and think that might be happening? Big day for Australia.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, I've been talking to Thanasi these last few matches trying to help him beat the guys he's been beating actually. He's been asking how his opponents play. We know obviously some of the doubles guys pretty well. Today I didn't really know their opponents that well, to be honest. Couldn't help him that much. Yeah, wanting them to win so we could all win, play off in the final. That's what we got. That's awesome.

Q. Max, you obviously made the final in 2020, different partner. How does this run compare to that?

MAX PURCELL: I guess, I only ever won I think one tour-level match before I made the final with Luke. This is slightly more surprising that run. Yeah, the quarters in the last slam we played. Kind of knew that we could do well at slam level.

Then again, Luke and I had won the most matches on the challenger tour. A lot of the doubles challenger guys slug it out there their whole lives. It's the hardest tour to get off of. Also some good players there, too.

Nothing's really changed. I kind of always thought I could play doubles. I know Matt can play some great doubles. At the end of the day is down to how well you guys gel out there, how well you can put away any holes in your game, just look to basically progress as a team. We've done that really well.

Q. What is the relationship like with Nick and Thanasi? Are you going to speak to each other before the match?

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, 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?

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.

Q. What sort of game plan will you take into the final to face the Ks?

MATTHEW EBDEN: I mean, we'll probably serve ace every point and just hit return winners.

MAX PURCELL: I'd prefer to just tell Nick and Thanasi straight up (smiling).

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, probably just hit aces and return winners.

MAX PURCELL: I think probably just keep it to ourselves.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Cross-hit a few volleys (laughter).

Q. I could tweet that for you.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Tweet that, you should (laughter).

What to say? We know them well. They know us well. They've obviously been really6 good singles players. We know they've had good success in doubles especially when they were juniors I think as well. They got great serves.

MAX PURCELL: Big-time players. They're going to take it to us.

MATTHEW EBDEN: They love the show and all that. We know exactly what they can do. We respect how they can play. Yeah, we have to find out way to counter that, do what we do. Yeah, work it for the best.

Q. I don't know if you're aware in the '90s when Australia played Australia A in the cricket. The public ended up supporting Australia A instead of Australia.

MAX PURCELL: Who is Australia and who is Australia A?

Q. Given the sort of support for them over the last --

MAX PURCELL: Because we're the underdogs.

Q. I suppose you might be potentially. Who do you think would be? Do you hope the crowd gets behind you rather than them? Not that you're the underdog.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Let's look at it. They have higher singles rankings right now. We have higher doubles rankings. They had big crowd support. We did also yesterday. The pressure is on them for sure. They've had pressure on them their whole lives.

It's nice to see them doing well. Thanasi winning his singles match. Them getting through this tournament to the finals. It's great.

What do you think?

MAX PURCELL: They're playing big-time singles out there. We're bringing a bit more doubles to the court. They're not looking to beat us at our game. We're not looking to beat them at their game. It's not like there -- there's no A and B, I feel like. They're better at their game. We're better at our game. I don't feel there's any underdog or over pair.

The silliest questions of all time (laughter).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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