Tennis underdog who NEVER expected to make the all-Aussie doubles final reveals he could MISS the birth of his baby due to Western Australia’s strict quarantine rules – as he prepares to face Nick Kyrgios
- Australian tennis journeyman Matt Ebden, 34, is set to miss the birth of his child
- Will have to do two weeks quarantine in Western Australia after Australian Open
- Ebden in predicament after Mark McGowan border backflip from February 5
- Will partner Max Purcell in doubles final v Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis
- Match scheduled to start Saturday at 8.45pm – after Ash Barty’s final at 7.30pm
Australian Open men’s doubles finalist Matt Ebden is likely to miss the birth of his baby due to the strict lockdown in Western Australia.
Speaking to Channel Nine’s The Today Show on Friday, the tennis journeyman, 34, confirmed his predicament after Premier Mark McGowan backflipped on his promise to open the borders from February 5.
‘I have a baby on the way. My wife (Kim Doig) is due in the next two weeks. So I’m delaying getting back to Perth. I have to go back and do two weeks of quarantine now and potentially miss the birth of my baby because of this (final),’ Ebden said.
‘(Yes) it does feel awful. When I left, it was certain that I could return on February 5, but that has (now) changed.
‘The due date is the 14th and (he or she is) likely to come early.’
Australian Open men’s doubles finalist Matt Ebden is likely to miss the birth of his baby due to the strict lockdown in Western Australia
The Perth based journeyman will partner Max Purcell (pictured) in the men’s doubles final against Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis on Saturday at the Australian Open
Ebden, who won the mixed-doubles title at the Australian Open in 2013, will take to the court on Saturday alongside Sydney young gun Max Purcell for a shot at Grand Slam glory.
On the other side of the net at Rod Laver Arena will be the imposing duo dubbed the Special K’s – Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Well aware their opponents will have the crowd on their side at Melbourne Park, Ebden acknowledged how well the duo have performed given they are not traditional doubles players.
‘I think it’s perfect. You know, we all know each other really well,’ he said.
‘They’ve done great to get to the final too, they’ve had some tough matches, as have we.
‘I’ve been speaking to Thanisi a bit this week. I said to him you guys do what you do, you will have a chance here or there.
‘They’ve been amazing and we’ve been hoping that they win and that we win. It’s a dream final really.’
Ebden went onto reveal along with Purcell he is quietly confident – but they respect Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who have provided plenty of entertainment for fans on route to the final.
‘They are (both) great singles players and combine well in the doubles. They’re super dangerous, they serve really well,’ he said.
‘So it’s going to be tough in that regard, for sure.
Nick Kyrgios (pictured right) and Thanasi Kokkinakis have been the talk of the Australian Open in the men’s doubles
Thanasi Kokkinakis (top) and Nick Kyrgios will have the crowd on their side in the all Aussie men’s doubles final on Saturday night
Brisbane raised world number one Ash Barty is gunning for her maiden Australian Open title – her women’s singles final is from 7.30pm (AEST) on Saturday
‘They are entertainers, they use the crowd a lot. We have been channelling that a bit in our home slam. We are no strangers to big crowds and loud noises ourselves.
‘This is my 16th Australian Open and Max has played a lot of big matches. We have played Davis Cup and played all around the world in stadiums that feel like soccer stadiums.
‘It’s awesome, that’s why we play, we want to play Grand Slam finals.’
Saturday’s all-Aussie men’s doubles final is scheduled to begin at 8.45pm.
It follows fellow Australian and top seed Ash Barty taking on American Danielle Collins from 7.30pm (AEST) in the women’s singles final.