Doubles delight for Aussie duo
Local favourites Matthew Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova gave the home crowds something to cheer as they joined forces to win the Australian Open mixed doubles title.
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The Australian duo defeated the Czech pairing of Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak 6-3 7-5 in 73 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to claim their first grand slam doubles crown.
The victory also sees them become the first locals to win a main draw Australian Open title since 2005 when Scott Draper and Sam Stosur won the same title.
South-Africa born Ebden was quick to pay tribute to his partner who held her nerve well in the second set to serve out for a hugely-popular triumph.
"She has an incredible serve," Ebden said. "It's very powerful, one of the best women's serve on the tour. For me, she's one of the best players on the women's tour.
"All the guys in the locker room playing mixed said she hits the ball harder than the guys. They said she hits bigger. She's tough, and she's big on big points. It's never easy serving out any match, let alone a Grand Slam final. She was incredible."
Ebden insisted that he expected the win to spark an improvement in his partner's singles form with Gajdosova, who was once ranked 25th in the world, now down at 166.
"She's going to take a lot of confidence from this and head right back up there, even further up than she was before," he added.