Barbora Krejcikova & Rajeev Ram won the Australian Open mixed doubles title for a second time, ending Sam Stosur & Matt Ebden’s dream run at Melbourne Park, 6-1 6-4.
I’ve got to thank my partner. We had a year off as a team, but she didn’t. Three years running lifting this trophy is an amazing job. Rajeev Ram
The Australian wild card pair could not match the ‘flawless’ 6th seeds from the Czech Republic and the USA, who first won the title together in 2019.
A shaky opening service game from Ebden gifted the 6th seeds with an instant break.
Costly errors then punished Ebden & Stosur as Ram imposed himself at the net, reading the play to fire the Czech-American combination 4-0 ahead.
Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion, demonstrated superb reactions to help the wild cards get onto the scoreboard after a 15 costly minutes, but Krejcikova & Ram remained rock-solid and cruised to a one set advantage, 6-1.
It looked like Stosur & Ebden would be put away quickly in the second, but they regained their footing as Stosur lifted shots from around the court and Ebden began to hit winners at the net.
The Aussies were on even terms at 4-4 but were unable to prevent a break after Ram held serve in the penultimate game.
The 6th seeds have a special understanding on the doubles court, and they were proving this yet again.
The home duo knew they had to step up and at 1-1 earned a ‘deciding point’ deuce, only for Ram to swat away a tricky head-high forehand.
While Stosure & Ebden were finding their feet, building confidence up the court and striking with intensified conviction, it wasn’t quite enough to disrupt the rhythm of the pair on the other side of the net.
Up 5-4, Krejcikova’s searing backhand pass and Ram’s relentless pressure at the net sent the Czech-American combination towards championship point and victory.
Ebden described Krejcikova & Ram as ‘pretty flawless’ and congratulated them on the title.
“Well done, you guys were way too good tonight,” added Stosur on court afterwards. “It shows why you’ve won a few titles together before. Congrats and all the best for the rest of the year.”
She also thanked Ebden and Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley for giving the pair a wild card into the event, adding that she hoped they could play together again in the future.
Ram paid tribute to Krejcikova, who had won the mixed doubles with Nikola Mektic in 2020, making this year’s title her 3rd straight title at Melbourne Park.
“I’ve got to thank my partner. We had a year off as a team, but she didn’t,” Ram said. “Three years running lifting this trophy is an amazing job.
“I’ve faced Matt so many times over the years, we’ve been on tour together for so many years, always a pleasure to play you.
“Sam is obviously a legend, especially in Australian tennis, real pleasure to share the court with you guys.”
The AO 2021 champions also thanked the crowd, saying:“This is so cool, especially in front of you guys, we haven’t played with fans in such a long time.”