Ebden/Purcell Save Five MPs, Stun Ram/Salisbury In Wimbledon Semi-Final

  • Posted: Jul 07, 2022

Ebden/Purcell Save Five MPs, Stun Ram/Salisbury In Wimbledon Semi-Final

Mektic/Pavic win fifth-set tie-break to edge Cabal/Farah

Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell’s hopes appeared all but over in their Wimbledon semi-final against top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury on Thursday, but the Australian pair turned things around in spectacular style to seal a championship match spot at the grass-court Grand Slam.

Ebden and Purcell fended off five match points for their opponents in the third-set tie-break, a pivotal moment in their 3-6, 6-7(1), 7-6(9), 6-4, 6-2 victory on No. 1 Court. The 14th seeds used the momentum from that third-set escape to dominate the second half of an enthralling three-hour, 59-minute encounter, breaking serve four times to reach their second major final of the season.

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It is the second time that Ebden and Purcell have beaten Ram and Salisbury in a Grand Slam semi-final this year, having also defeated the American-British duo in the last four at January’s Australian Open. Thursday’s win in London extended the pair’s Grand Slam match record to 13-3.

Awaiting the Australian pair in Saturday’s final will be defending champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, who also erased a match point as they went the distance against 2019 winners Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

The second seeds twice came from a set down to earn a 6-7(2), 7-6(0), 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(10-4) victory after four hours, 22 minutes. Between the two semi-final matches, No. 1 Court saw more than eight hours of doubles action on Thursday.

There was just one break point in the final set, but it doubled as match point with Mektic serving at 4-5. The Croatian saved it with a big serve to ultimately force a 10-point tie-break to decide who would advance to the title match.

From 2-3, Mektic/Pavic won four straight points, including two on the Farah serve, to gain an advantage they would not relinquish. Despite losing one mini-break as their opponents closed to 6-4, the Croatian team won the final four points of the match to keep its title defence alive.

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