Matt Ebden and Max Purcell are selling themselves as the M&Ms after stealing the chocolates and joining some of the legends of Australian tennis as Wimbledon men’s doubles champions.
Two days after saving five match points in the semi-finals, Ebden and Purcell battled for four hours, 11 minutes on Saturday to defeat Croatia’s defending champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 4-6 6-4 7-6 (10-2) in an equally epic title match.
Before the “The Woodies” dominated, the “Super Macs” – Paul McNamee and Peter McNamara – claimed two Wimbledon titles in 1980 and ‘82.
The “Super Macs” and “Woodies” were the last of an incredible batch of Australian pairings that dominated on the hallowed London grass courts post-World War II.
Ebden and Purcell can’t believe they’ve joined such an esteemed club, especially after fending off three match points in their tournament opener against Ben McLachlan and Andre Goransson, as well as the five they saved against top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the semis.
“I thought we were out of here first round,” Purcell said.
“We were love-40 down in the fifth, three match points, and then we just won Wimbledon – how good’s that?”
Victory for Ebden atoned for his Wimbledon mixed doubles final defeat with veteran Aussie great Samantha Stosur on Thursday.
“Speechless,” Ebden said. “Won Wimbledon.
“People say as a kid they dreamed of winning Wimbledon. I don’t even know if I did that.”
Kyrgios, who will attempt to complete Australia’s first men’s singles-doubles double at SW19 since 1971 when he plays Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s singles final, was among the first to congratulate Ebden and Purcell on Twitter.
“Very solid effort. Guess I don’t mind M&M’s anyway,” Kyrgios posted.
Ebden said absolutely the “M;M’s” would do.
“We reached out to Nestle to see if M&M’s actually want to sponsor us,” he said.
“We’ll eat some M&M’s on the court. I actually love M&M’s.”
ALL-AUSTRALIAN WIMBLEDON MEN’S DOUBLES CHAMPIONS
1919: Pat O’Hara and Ronald Thomas
1935: Jack Crawford and Adrian Quist
1948: John Bromwich and Frank Sedgman
1950: John Bromwich and Adrian Quist
1951: Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor
1952: Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor
1953: Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall
1954: Rex Hartwig and Mervyn Rose
1955: Rex Hartwig and Lew Hoad
1956: Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall
1959: Roy Emerson and Neale Fraser
1961: Roy Emerson and Neale Fraser
1962: Bob Hewitt and Fred Stolle
1964: Bob Hewitt and Fred Stolle
1965: John Newcombe and Tony Roche
1966: John Newcombe and Ken Fletcher
1968: John Newcombe and Tony Roche
1969: John Newcombe and Tony Roche
1970: John Newcombe and Tony Roche
1971: Roy Emerson and Rod Laver
1974: John Newcombe and Tony Roche
1977: Ross Case and Geoff Masters
1980: Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee
1982: Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee
1993: Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge
1994: Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge
1995: Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge
1996: Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge
1997: Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge
2000: Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge
2022: Matt Ebden and Max Purcell