West Australian Matt Ebden has become a Grand Slam champion after winning today’s Australian Open mixed doubles final with Jarmila Gajdosova.
The Aussie pair beat Czech duo Frantisek Cermak and Lucie Hradecka 6-3 7-5 in one hour and 13 minutes.
With West Australian tennis legend Margaret Court watching on, Ebden and Gajdosova took control when Hradecka served, allowing her just two points from her two service games in the first set.
That gave them the edge they needed and Ebden dominated whenever he had the chance to serve. He held his second service game to love and followed that with another love-game when serving for the set.
The locals took a stranglehold on the title when they broke Cermak in the opening game of the second set.
But nerves kicked in as the match edged towards a potential finish. Ebden saved a break point while leading 3-2 but then the Australians failed to convert three break points on Hradecka’s serve.
When Gajdosova lost her serve the next game, the set was back on an even keel and the Australians had given up a significant advantage.
But Hradecka double faulted twice while serving to Gajdosova at 5-5 and Ebden made her pay, thereby allowing the Australians the chance to serve out the match.
Scott Draper and Samantha Stosur were the last Australian pair to win their home mixed doubles title. They won in 2005.
Ebden and Gajdosova, who will represent Australian at Davis Cup and Fed Cup, won $67,750 each.