Secret bet behind Aussie duo's insane Wimbledon triumph

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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The Wimbledon men's doubles crown belongs to Aussie duo Matt Ebden and Max Purcell after a five-set thriller. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)
The Wimbledon men's doubles crown belongs to Aussie duo Matt Ebden and Max Purcell after a five-set thriller. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

Matt Ebden and Max Purcell have triumphed in a thrilling five-set men's doubles final epic at Wimbledon, becoming the first Australian pair to win at the All England club in 22 years.

For the second time this year and Australian pairing has won the men's doubles at a grand slam, with Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis having won at the Australian Open.

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Ebden and Purcell had their work cut out for them against defending champions from Croatia, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, with three of the five sets won by tiebreaker.

A victory earned the hard way was all the more sweet for the Australian pair, who join the likes of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge, as well as the "Super Macs" - Paul McNamee and Peter McNamara - who claimed two Wimbledon titles in 1980 and '82 as Australian winners of the famous grand slam.

Though the pair had showcased some terrific form throughout the year, notably losing the Australian Open final to Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, Ebden might be kicking himself over a bet he made with Purcell months ago.

Boasting a relatively clean-cut look next to Purcell's longer and wilder mullet, the pair decided a sneaky bet with one another before Wimbledon was a good idea.

“We were just talking about it, a few months ago we put on Instagram a vote out ‘should Matty grow a mullet’,” Ebden told Channel 9.

“Heaps said yes, heaps said no. I said no, he said yes. After that I made a private little bet with him and I said ‘you know what, if we win Wimbledon I’ll grow a mullet until the Aussie Open’.

“I didn’t tell anyone else. I told my wife last night, because I told her about the bet at the time.”

After coming out on top in a four hour epic, Ebden was mulling over the prospect of getting a quick trim before fulfilling his pledge to Purcell.

“She said ‘don’t tell Max’. I was thinking should I go to the hairdresser quickly and get a trim now to get a short one in because it’s already getting long," he said.

“But congrats to Maxy.”

Aussie doubles pairing triumph in Wimbledon epic

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."

Max Purcell and Matt Ebden celebrate after winning the men's doubles fin at Wimbledon. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Max Purcell and Matt Ebden celebrate after winning the men's doubles fin at Wimbledon. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

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."

With AAP

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