Ebden & Purcell Upset Fourth Seeds At Australian Open
The home crowds continue to inspire Aussie pairings in the doubles at the Australian Open. After Friday’s heroics from Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis against No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, it was Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell’s turn to delight the fans on Saturday.
The Australian pairing hit 30 winners and just five unforced errors as it maintained a foothold in the match before striking at the crucial time, breaking for 6-5 in the third set.
American Rajeev Ram and Briton Joe Salisbury remain on track as they bid for a third consecutive final at Melbourne Park. The second seeds and 2020 champions didn’t offer up a break point and converted four of their own as they brushed past New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen 6-1, 6-2 in under an hour.
Sydney Tennis Classic finalists Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini showed more good form in ousting ninth-seeded Croatian-Brazilian pairing Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo. The Italian duo won six consecutive points on the way to winning the first set tie-break, before sealing a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory. Eighth seeds and 2016 Australian Open winners Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares await in the third round.
Germany’s Tim Puetz and New Zealand’s Michael Venus beat Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena and Frenchman Hugo Gaston 6-1, 6-4. Sixth seeds Puetz and Venus hit 25 winners to their opponents’ 11 as they advanced to set a third-round clash with another all-Aussie duo, wild cards Jason Kubler and Christopher O'Connell.