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July 9, 2022

Matthew Ebden

Max Purcell

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference


7-6, 6-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: First question.

MAX PURCELL: Matt, how do you feel?

MATTHEW EBDEN: Speechless. Won Wimbledon. I don't even know. People say as a kid they dreamed of winning Wimbledon. I don't even know if I did that. I wanted to be a professional tennis player, I wanted to get to the top 10. I started believing these last years we could win slams and I could do it. But you never know if it will actually happen.

To fall on our back and know we've won Wimbledon. I said to him, he's only 24 and he's won Wimbledon, I was like, If life's done, I'm done. I'm good.

MAX PURCELL: With five sets.

MATTHEW EBDEN: We've won. We've won. We've won. It's just an unbelievable feeling. I can't believe it. Yeah, I can't believe it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You're 24, you're 36.


Q. You might feel like 44 after that. From the first set through to now, what does that do for the both of you in terms of your friendship but also your partnership?

MAX PURCELL: It's probably looking like a property for me, so that's what it's looking like for me.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Sydney is expensive. Have to win a slam to be able to have a home.

MAX PURCELL: Other than that, we obviously had a goal of obviously trying to winning slams and get to World Tour Finals. We haven't exactly cemented that, but we put ourself in a very good spot. We're the one team that gets to win a slam and go through. Hopefully ourselves or Nick and Thanasi can definitely put some more points on the board, so we're definitely in there.

Outside that, we're great friends off the court. Matt is a great role model for me in terms of professional and maturity. I think since we've kind of teamed up, I've definitely felt more comfortable on the tennis court, more secure in my game. I'm just loving where we're at.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yeah, to answer your question, from the first set this is a match I believed we could win. I really thought we could maybe do it in straight. I said to him before the match, I said, We go out there to destroy these guys. I was thinking this is possible to win 3-3-2 or something. We know we've got the game, we've got all the tool.

On the flip side I said, Look, we know these guys are super hard to break. Whether he has a wrist problem on his other hand, doesn't matter. It doesn't affect his serve. Mainly his volleys. The other guy is still No. 1 in the world.

These guys, in a lot of their matches this tournament they haven't even faced a break point. We felt that. We're ready for that. If we can get 'em in straight, otherwise whatever it takes.

That's been the story of our tournament. We've come five out of six matches five sets.

MAX PURCELL: Shouldn't be here basically.

MATTHEW EBDEN: I don't know how many match points we saved, seriously. There was definitely some luck, some destiny. I believe in God and I pray for many years.

MAX PURCELL: I believe in Matt Ebden.

MATTHEW EBDEN: And I believe in Max.

That first set we got up, I was thinking, Okay, great. We had two break points early in the second, didn't quite cover the serves. Few lines. Unbelievable players, those guys. They won Wimbledon last year, world No. 1 team.

Second slipped away unfortunately. Missed one or two in the breaker, they kept making everything. Same with the third. I was like, This match is slipping away a little.

MAX PURCELL: It changed.

MATTHEW EBDEN: We knew we had to change something. I said to him, I was like, We can break, like we do in other matches. We're good enough. We can get a couple breaks. Let's get two breaks the fourth and fifth, this is ours. That's one thing saying it, another thing doing it, another thing it actually happening.

I just can't believe it happened. I'm so grateful. Bloody, I don't know, blessed that it happened.

Q. What was your first thought that came into your minds when you hit the ace and you both dropped to the court?

MAX PURCELL: Thank you. That's what happened.

My father once told me when he was watching television, you watch guys win Grand Slams, he's like, No, it's disrespectful to fall on your back. Shake your opponent's hands first. That's spoken by a guy who's never won a Grand Slam.

Once you win a Grand Slam, you fall on your back. The grass feels great on your back. I just did that, kind of rolled over, looked at Matt, he was on the ground. I was like, Yes, we have done it. That's as simple as it was.

Q. You know about being the first since the Woodies as an all-Australian team. Were you aware you're the first players at any event at Wimbledon to have won a championship by saving match points multiple times?

MATTHEW EBDEN: Max actually asked that. He said --

MAX PURCELL: I said, I wonder how many.

MATTHEW EBDEN: What's the record?

MAX PURCELL: What's the record for most match points saved?

MATTHEW EBDEN: We saved at least six.

MAX PURCELL: We saved eight.

MATTHEW EBDEN: In the quarters was 2-3, Love-40 we were down.

MAX PURCELL: Five-setters? Can't you win? Everyone is so bloody good. They're so scared of this guy. He's the most insane tennis player I've ever seen in my life.

MATTHEW EBDEN: We've tried to win every match in straight sets. Every team since the first round, we've had a bloody tough draw, played unbelievable teams every match. Multiple Grand Slam winners, other title winners. The level of doubles is super strong.

Our draw, you look at it, look at the scores. We're sitting here won the title, but first round we could have been out with one point. The level is insane.

I hope again for doubles, I've been a singles player all my career, Max is a singles player, we're then doubles players, as well. Now we've won doubles slams.

Just the caliber, quality of tennis, to be out there over four hours, 7-6 in the fifth set, finish Wimbledon final with a match tiebreak. It was insane. A lot of the crowd were loving it. They were telling us at the end when we were walking around they were entertained. What a fitting for a Centre Court, Wimbledon final, stuff you dream of.

MAX PURCELL: It was a bit dark out there.

MATTHEW EBDEN: It was. They don't use the lights for some reason. I'll sleep out there. I'm done. Can't believe it.

Q. You played the final at the Australian Open. Do you think today you might have benefited a little bit from the fact there was plenty of energy out there, but it was slightly more conventional tennis crowd?

MAX PURCELL: That didn't essentially help us. Because I played three now in the men's. The first one didn't really help the second one. I just thought when you're ready, you're ready. I never felt in awe of the occasion, like, Oh, my God, what am I doing here? I've earned it.

Q. Not in that sense. The energy of the crowd.

MAX PURCELL: No, we love that. Asking for more.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Mate, we were down two sets to one, it was a little bit quiet and calm. The fourth, we started to get the crowd... I said to him, The crowd want us to come back here and get the fourth, win this match. They really did. They helped us turn.

Without the crowd we might have lost, really. At Aussie Open in the quarters, what happened? We were down 6-4, 4-5, other guys were serving. We came out, riled the crowd up, channeled that energy. We loved that. It lifted us. Ended up winning, all the way to the finals, the semis.

We love that stuff. Maybe we were guilty of not having enough energy in the second or third set or staying aggressive enough.

But our first Wimbledon final - I played a mixed doubles final - but our first Wimbledon final, it's a tough occasion, a lot to overcome, as people, players, athletes. Never mind my age, but this guy is only 24. Incredible to watch him grow this last month or two particularly, but since we started playing together.

Yeah, what a legend. Rips a return whenever we need.

Q. You have the Max, we've had the Woodies, the Special Ks. What is your nickname?

MATTHEW EBDEN: The M&M's. They started calling us the M&M's. We reached out, Nestle, to see if M&M's actually want to sponsor us. I have a friend who knows a guy at Nestle to potentially do it, a sponsorship. We'll eat some M&M's on the court. I actually love M&M's. I eat many, I love 'em.

Yeah, they started coining us the M&M's. I don't know if it's official now.

Q. Nick has tweeted to say he does like M&M's after all.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Classic. That was funny.

MAX PURCELL: Special K is already only when it's infused with chocolate or berries.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Aussie Open we had the final with them, we really hoped and believed we were going to win that one.

MAX PURCELL: Let's not take the fact that Nick is in the final. Let's make it two Australian winners.

MATTHEW EBDEN: We tried to do it in the mixed. Aussies in all the finals, great. Happened in the Aussie Open as well; Ash was there, Nick, Thanasi was there.

Once we lost that final, our fans were saying they prefer M&M's, Special K, some people were saying Special K is better. I think when I lost, I put on my Instagram, Still prefer M&M's, just saying.

Credit to them. They played lights out. They served lights out and beat us. We've won Wimbledon, so I'm pretty happy.

Q. You started the year with that final at the Aussie Open. Looks as though you'll both be at the end-of-season finals. Would that be a great way to climax the season?

MATTHEW EBDEN: For sure, it's a goal of ours since the start of the year. We believe we're the best pair in the world. I'll say it. I don't think you win Wimbledon without believing it. We believe we were the best pair in the world probably after US Open last year. We lost in the quarters, but we had match points first against the No. 1 team, who won it, Joe and Raj, who we beat in the semis here.

MAX PURCELL: Semis at Melbourne.

MATTHEW EBDEN: They were up two sets to love, had match points. We were lucky, framed a volley winner. They missed also.

But we definitely believe that we're the best doubles team in the world, if not one of the best, because of matches like today. All tournament the level is so high that there's a point here or there that can decide it. We believe we're one of these teams. That's why I probably was...

World Tour Finals is a points race. If you win a slam, it obviously propels you more or less directly into it. But you still have to have enough points to be top seven or eight, otherwise other people who win slams, like Nick or Thanasi, if they finish with more points than us. There's only one team that gets a Grand Slam winning straight into the finals. We have to make sure we're still high enough on the race, or they are, to guarantee that.

Definitely that's been our goal that we've been working towards.

Q. You'd like to play them again?

MAX PURCELL: Of course.

MATTHEW EBDEN: We'd like to play everybody, for sure.

MAX PURCELL: Hopefully we get to play them in a final again. How good would that be? Two Aussie pairs in the finals at Turin.

MATTHEW EBDEN: How good for Aussie tennis. Two Aussie teams in the finals there. Ash winning in bloody singles. We have Nick here in the finals of the singles. We won the doubles. Were in the mixed doubles with Stosur.

Yeah, I mean, we're just trying to do Australia proud, show Aussie grit and fight, win Wimbledon for Australia. We have a rich history. You said the Woodies, the Super Max, Peter McNamara, God bless him, passed away, one of my coaches. Todd and Mark Woodforde have both been part of my coaching team in the last 10 or 12 years. Mark Woodforde was out there warming up with us today on the court. Spoke to Todd this morning. With the lefty serve. Those are the great champions.

We love a chest bump high in the sky like the Bryans. We like to channel all those greats. Yeah, we've won Wimbledon. I don't know. It's further than a dream come true. I suppose it's a goal or a plan or a belief come true.

But, yeah, it feels amazing.

Q. Mate Pavic is a warrior, played nine sets of tennis with a broken wrist. Coming to the final you knew what happened, you must have studied their semifinal. What exactly did you plan to take advantage of that? Also, Matt, had you a sitter at 5-4.

MATTHEW EBDEN: I wouldn't say 'sitter'.

Q. What are your thoughts? It was really a important point.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Yes. Firstly Mate. When we sat down after we won, after falling on the grouped, I said to Max, and the other guys were up there giving their speech, I said to him, These guys, the Croatians, Mate, I know he's from -- whatever part of Croatia, these guys are warriors. I said, Mektic, what a player, unbelievable, No. 1 in the world. Mate as well. I said there's a reason he's so good. I said to them both at the net, I laughed and shook Nikola's hand, I said, You nearly beat us with one guy with one hand.

Jokingly I said to Max, this guy should probably change to one hand because his two-handed backhand is not his strength. The way he hit the chip lobs, run around and hit forehands, everything he did, was incredible skill.

It's a testament to him and them as a team of how good they are. They basically nearly beat us with a big injury. Sure, didn't affect his serve, didn't affect a lot of things, maybe in some ways rattled us or changed the game in a weird way more than it might have.

But full credit to him and them. I said to both of them and their coaches unbelievable that they can almost beat us like that. They won it last year. I said to them, Thanks for letting us win Wimbledon. They won it last year. It's our turn.

But, yeah, absolutely.

Q. What did you prepare to take advantage of that?

MAX PURCELL: I mean, I said to Matt, I was like I'm not going to let these guys beat us with their best. Let's play to their worst. This guy has a broken hand. Let's make him hit as many one-handed backhands as possible. He couldn't even hold his right hand on the throat to push forward with his backhand volley.

We had a few things in mind like that. It actually made things a little more difficult because a lot of doubles is so quick, it's so much instinct you need.

MATTHEW EBDEN: A lot of lobs.

MAX PURCELL: Credit to him. We had to make sure we weren't playing a lot on instinct. We had to make sure we felt like what can this guy do with his one hand and exploit that.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Keep him guessing.

MAX PURCELL: Exactly. It took us a while to get used to that. We were unsure. Then later on in the third set, we just kind of weren't happy with how our returning was going, how kind of passive we were to get into that point where we wanted to hurt him with his backhand.

We were like, Let's go out there, lose it on our terms, go after the returns, go after him a bit more. From then, I can't even remember missing returns.

MATTHEW EBDEN: I said to him, Look, we'll treat this guy like there's no injury. He made, like, 300 volleys. He only missed -- did he miss any? Like a couple. Sure, he gave us some slightly not as hard ones, but he never missed 'em. Unbelievable by him.

Mate, yeah, the effort, the skill, people should show videos of what he did to overcome that injury in that final for a long time in the future because as a coach for any players as an example what you can do is incredible. He did absolutely everything he could unbelievably well. They very nearly beat us as well.

5-4 deuce. There were a few of those moments. Maxie made some good returns, even off of mine. Had some second, third or fourth balls again because we had that target. We knew his volley was maybe slightly weaker. We obviously wanted to make him play some backhand volleys, at his chest, uncomfortable ones.

Then, yeah, the second, third, fourth, even fifth he was not missing them. Then he was like step up, rip it, go hard, whatever. Sometimes in other matches, I've been happy to really go huge at my forehands and maybe even miss 'em. A couple times he's like, Make sure you put them in play, a little bit more spin, whatever. This one was a bit the other way. You know what I mean?

Sure it's a big moment Wimbledon finals, big moment. Push yourself to be aggressive. If I give it a good rip there, maybe he's going to miss it anyway, whatever. It was us both I think trying to say, All right, take it.

Forget his injury. These big matches are won; no one's going to give 'em to you. Got to find a way to return aggressively, hit aggressively. Yeah, he led the way there a bit. I tried to follow and gave him some good returns as well and he did great. That was the story.

Q. Are you expecting Lleyton to call you?

MAX PURCELL: For what?

Q. Davis Cup, September.

MAX PURCELL: I hope so.

MATTHEW EBDEN: He messaged me in the last week. Obviously Max has had a couple of interesting discussions with Lleyton in the last six months, 12 months, whatever.

Max is a unique character. I've found that myself. We've been learning about each other, ourselves as a team, myself as a person, Max himself as a person. His growth and maturity and professionalism and mindset shift that I hope I've been able to help push along and cultivate so he gets the most out of himself and me out of myself and us as a team I hope will help him grow. It definitely is in all areas of life, singles, doubles, off the court, whatever.

I 100% believe we should be the Davis Cup team. There's no secret. Of course, Peersie has been a great doubles player. We've both played with Peersie before. He's been a great doubles player. Obviously we beat him in the quarters here. He's obviously been having a tough season. He's won some matches for Australia. It's different when you're a team.

MAX PURCELL: Peersie is a great doubles players. But Peersie doesn't play with an Australian. That bond you have as a pair, knowing what your partner is always going to do. It's like yourself, a second version of yourself out on the tennis court.

That can't be matched, can't just be put together on the spot. Even through the US Open with good results, we weren't like that. Now we're like glue. I think that's something that will really help Australia.

Thanasi and Nick, they can play doubles for Australia. But there are two very good singles candidates. And with the new format kind of having to back matches up straight away, I think it would be a little silly to make sure they're ready for singles and doubles. It would be really nice to have the court.

MATTHEW EBDEN: On the flip side, if there's any injuries, like myself through my career in Davis Cup all the time as a utility player, I've been there, able to play. I played five times actually singles and only one doubles with Lleyton. Obviously playing more doubles.

If anyone is injured or needs a backup, Max or myself can play singles as well, particularly Max at the moment. He's playing super and playing a lot. That's a huge advantage to have. The Woodies were similar. They were there as the doubles team. Anytime they needed a singles slot, Todd or Mark would play.

Of course that's our belief. Of course that is. Like I told you, we believe we're the best team in the world, one of. Yeah, in huge moments, in huge events, huge matches for your country, slams, we've had to grow as people individually and together as a team over close to 12 months now.

It's been a lot of -- we've had some hard losses. We lost first round at French Open. We stood in the cafe on the way back and spoke for four hours together. We had a D&M. People walked back and forth after their matches, You guys are still there? We talked for four hours, had to iron out some things.

We first teamed up US Open, went straight to the quarters, had match points.

MAX PURCELL: Second was Aussie.

MATTHEW EBDEN: Second ever tournament. Straight to the final. It's very rare to have that happen straightaway. You get challenged during the year. There's stress, there's pressure, there's months away from home, family, everyone has different things going on, blah, blah, blah.

You have to then really, really, really get to know yourself, each other, then yourself as a team, then be clear on your plan of how you operate best as a team.

We're different people, right? We know what works best for me. What works best for me doesn't necessarily work best for him. I need to know what works best for him and he needs to know what works best for me. We need to become the best team we can be.

That's when he means that Peersie is not playing with an Australian. I haven't played with Peersie 150 times. We haven't spent 45 hours talking in depth as people what we like, what we need, what we feel, all those things. We haven't had hundreds of moments together where you bond and gel and have adversity, have losses, have wins, all those things in between.

When you talk about the Woodies the Super Max, that's something we're building. I don't know. Can't believe it.

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