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January 26, 2022

Matthew Ebden

Max Purcell

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


3-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: What was the key to victory today?

MATTHEW EBDEN: The key to victory was probably the crowd. It really was. Some people say that it's not true. Today was actually pretty true.

They started well. We didn't play too bad, but they played good in the first set. Second we lifted our game, we got up 5-4. Just sort of thought, This is our crowd, this is our court, this is our slam, let's get the crowd involved.

They got real loud, real noisy. Something happened there. It fired us up, changed our energy, went a bit crazy. The other guys maybe felt a bit of pressure or something. We returned it. Hit some returns, ran with it. Took the game, the set, took that momentum into the third, too. Got up the break. That was key. Then again, we served well when we were ahead as well. They actually played a really good game to break us back. We didn't do too much wrong. Most of the points we had chances to win.

We got to hand it to them, too. They were a classy pair. They were on a 13 or 14 match win streak. Won last two tournaments, in the quarters here. They came back at us hard and made it really tough. It's a quality doubles.

The key was helping each other out. I think we both lifted a little bit when the other one might have missed one or two. That was key. A couple returns, a couple extra serves, then the crowd really played a part.

Super happy especially on Australia Day here in Australian Open. I know it's a contentious day whatever, but for us to be playing here at the home slam is awesome this January.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You spoke about the crowd. When you lost the advantage in the third set, you had to regroup, how important was that?

MAX PURCELL: Well, I mean, yeah, they won the two lead-up tournaments, first three rounds here, they're not spuds, right? They know how to return serves. You got to be ready for anything in doubles.

Yeah, maybe we got broken, maybe this changed momentum a little bit. We tried our best. We got the crowd involved again.

MATTHEW EBDEN: We didn't drop our heads. Sometimes it happens. We didn't do too much wrong.

MAX PURCELL: Yeah. Went back to what we do well.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Went for it.

MAX PURCELL: Came off court with the win.

Q. (Question about the US Open.)

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, again, that was another quality match. 6-7, 7-6, 6-7, whatever it was. We had chances to win even the first set. We lost in a breaker. Had a set point or two. Clutched the second after maybe they could have won it. Yeah, they were up in the third set breaker, then we came back, had a couple match points, didn't quite get it. Had one or two more. Actually one of them I returned, served wide to my backhand, knew he was going there, crushed a return winner cross-court. Hawk-Eye called it out by a split hair. Lost a second serve point.

MAX PURCELL: Second serve net cord.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Exactly. We had the match point. Again, sure, we could have won it, didn't. They made a good return. That's tennis. That's doubles. We've both experienced enough. Obviously I've seen more years, but Max has seen a lot in his years. They're a quality pair. We believe it. We really want to go for them. We want to win slam titles, for sure. I want to win lots of them. No secret there.

To be the best you have to beat the best. These guys are definitely one of the best teams. I think now in the last couple slams we're probably one of the best teams, too. Should be a great shootout. Last time was in New York. Maybe that one-point difference can be made in our home slam like it was today. One or two points here or there that were key.

We're definitely going to try to use that to our advantage and turn that match our way. We're going to have to play really well for sure. They're a great team, so we got to respect them. Come down to what we do on the court.

Q. What is your relationship like off the court? How much do you love each other?

MAX PURCELL: Yeah, pretty good. Mattie and I, we're pretty straight to the point. There's no mucking around. We're on it with our bodies, coaches, getting practice times ready.

It seems really professional, but it's also really nice to have someone that's similar to me with all that. I'm not worried about anything. We get our next pairing, I have a bunch of notes from Mattie about the next pair. We're all on it. Matty is really invested in winning so I'm loving it.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, I think that sums it up well. We both I feel are pretty levelheaded, got a lot of composure, especially Max at such a young age. I don't know if I had quite that even composure at that young age. We want to win, do everything to win. We have perspective. If we don't win, it's not the end of the world, we play great tennis and improve. Yada yada yada. We have fun out there, make the most of we want to win, but have fun, too.

Yeah, since Maxie was probably 17, 18, when he was almost out of juniors his first few years, we practiced a lot. I think we even played each other once or twice, practiced a bit over the years. Obviously on the opposite sides of the net in doubles one or two times. Opportunity came up last year to switch pairs before US Open. Quickly asked him. Yeah, we teamed up.


MATTHEW EBDEN: It's been a good pairing since. Yeah, definitely try to of course go all the way here and plan to play as much during the year as we can, where we can. We still have singles as well that we're doing. Max is young and going for the singles, too.

We'll keep the partnership going for sure when we can.

Q. Singles is your priority, doubles is secondary to that. Do you think that helps the relationship?

MAX PURCELL: Yeah, Mattie being top 30 something in the world really rubs off on me as well. Got someone I'm teaming up with doubles. We bounce often each other. Geez, I want to get to where Mattie is going. I kind of feed off everything he does. That's been great.

Yeah, he's definitely the best person or one of the best persons I've teamed up with. I'm not going to say anything about Luke. I love playing with Luke as well. I love it.

It would be nice if we're maybe a little closer in age and more towards the end of our career we can almost commit properly. I am looking a lot more at the singles route at the moment. Who is to say we can't win a slam or two this year.

MATTHEW EBDEN: The Woodies got to top 20 and won quite a few slams in the meantime. Yeah, for me obviously I'm later on in my life and career, I play singles and doubles, probably some point in the next few years singles, that eventually, whether it's two years, five years, at some point I'll probably end up just playing doubles. By the time the physical becomes that, whether it's at 36 or 40, who knows, we'll see.

Yeah, I think the great thing about playing with Max, it's nice to play with a partner, you both feel like you can both do everything, no real limitations, forehand, backhand, serve, any spot, return, any spot, any kind of shot or volley. Our athleticism is obviously our strength. Two of the best movers on the doubles court I think. We can jump.

It's just nice to have those options because you need them. Playing the best teams in the world like the guys today, and our last two matches were also against a couple of the best teams in the world from the second round. We really need everything to beat all these guys. If you want to beat the best, you have to use everything and have everything. That's been key. Different matchups, different shots you're going to need, different tactics.

It's fun to play with someone who you both feel like you've got all the options, both of you. It's not the case with everybody. A lot of guys are a bit limited here or there. I feel like we both got all the options if we need them. That gives us confidence and ability to do stuff.

Yeah, we're running with it.

Q. Off topic. WA boy, Hopman Cup was a significant deal in Perth. It was said last September they're looking to bring it back. Talk about the importance.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, I'm not going to lie, it's been sorely missed. Obviously involved in the WA tennis community. I was so happy to play the last Hopman Cup ever with Ash Barty. That was amazing. We beat Spain. We beat France. We lost semifinal playoff to Germany. It was awesome. It was the last one.

In the last two or three years, there's been COVID. ATP Cup was meant to have replaced it. I get word from everyone, Where is Hopman Cup gone? It is so bad we lost it. I hope it comes back in some way, shape or form. Whether it's Perth... It's a great event.

Over time a lot of people go, It's an exhibition, whatever, whatever. The start of the year after everyone has been off for four or five weeks to guarantee those matches in the stadium, there's no points, money on the line, you want to win because you want to get ready for the next Aussie Open. You have five to 10 of the best men and women in the world.

MAX PURCELL: Guaranteed matches.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Guaranteed matches. ATP Cup is great, too. Hopman was a special format. The people of Perth supported it incredibly well for 25, 30 years I'm going to say. It's left a big gap and hole there. Hasn't really been filled.

ATP Cup did it one year. It was so-so. A lot of people were like, Where is the Hopman Cup? They weren't so happy.

Yeah, 100% I'm all for Hopman Cup returning to Perth if at all possible. If not possible, it should return somewhere in some shape or form. It seems to be a popular event, men and women, quality. People want to see men and women, all that sort of stuff.

100% all for it. There's a big, gaping hole where it left, yeah.

Q. It's hard to think about it, but a possibility of an all Australian final.

MATTHEW EBDEN: We've talked about it already.

Q. How significant do you think that would be?

MATTHEW EBDEN: It would be awesome. I was joking with Maxie before, awesome if we could play Aussies in the final.

He said, It would be so loud.

I said, Yeah, let's give them a hiding.

We got to get there first, so do they. They're great players, too. Firstly a tough one tomorrow, so do they. If we end up all Aussies in the final, of course that would be amazing. If they get there, if we get there.

We'll shoot for that one Saturday night if we get there. First things first tomorrow. Big job ahead of us.

Q. The court that you were on, on Kia Arena, that's been the focal point for doubles over the last few days. How much of a boost or incentive was what Nick and Thanasi have done over there going out there and helping to activate the crowd?

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, firstly Kia Arena, amazing court. It's becoming like a little coliseum out there. What a job they've done in the designing of that court. It's steep, a nice bowl around. The sound in there is really loud.

Yeah, of course, I've seen snippets of Nick and Thanasi playing. We know some of the guys they've been playing. Had a word with them here or there about what they should do. They obviously got big serves, big games. I like the way they've been using the crowd to their advantage.

Sure, I'm all for sportsmanlike conduct. I don't want nothing below the belt, nothing crazy, bad etiquette. I'm all for using your home crowd. When we are overseas everyone does it against us for their people, whatever.

I'm not going to lie. Probably stole a little bit of their mojo today end of the second set, just needed to change something. Got the crowd riled up. It really helped us. We found a spark. The crowd found some noise and energy. Ended up being pretty important. That was really fun.

How do you find Kia?

MAX PURCELL: Yeah, I love it. I've played everything but two matches on that court so far. Seeing Nick and Thanasi playing on that court, how they used the crowd, I'm looking out there, it's half as full compared to when they played. It's bloody loud out there. I'm imagining when they're out there it's completely packed. Absolute nightmare to play against them.

All credit to them to use the crowd. It's a good thing in Australia, that's for sure.

Q. Hopman Cup, the suggestion is Nice.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, right. I love the south of France. It's one of my favorite spots on the planet. Probably my top two or three. That's interesting, yeah. I think the event should be somewhere. I think Perth will be sad, but yeah. Should be somewhere at least.

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