abc– Australia’s Sam Stosur and Matt Ebden have gone down in straight sets in the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open.
The pair lost 6-1, 6-4 to number six seeds, Barbora Brejčíková of the Czech Republic and American Rajeev Ram on Rod Laver Arena.
They struggled in the first set, broken in the opening game on Ebden’s service.
Brejčíková and Ram broke again in the third game on Stosur’s serve, with the Australians losing the deciding point on an error.
The pair raced to a 4-0 lead before their opponents got on the board with Ebden holding serve to 15. But they could not make any further inroads, with Stosur broken again in the seventh game as Brejčíková and Ram took the set 6-1 in 22 minutes.
The Australians made more inroads in the second set, and games went with serve until Brejčíková and Ram won three straight points from 30-15 down to break Ebden’s serve in the 10th game and take out the title.
“I’d like to thank Matt for playing with me,” Stosur said after the match.
“Couldn’t quite get it done tonight but I had so much fun this week. It was a pleasure to play with you.
“Really hope we can do it again some time. I’d like to thank Craig [Tiley, Australian Open tournament director], wherever you are, mostly for our wildcard into this event. Couldn’t have done that without that help.”
Stosur also thanked the fans for turning out at Melbourne Park.
Stosur, the 2011 US Open women’s singles champion, has won three mixed doubles titles and three women’s doubles titles at grand slams. Her most recent grand slam win came at Melbourne Park in 2019, when she won the women’s doubles crown with Zhang Shuai.
Brejčíková and Ram, who had been in full quarantine after arriving in Australia, went all the way in the mixed doubles competition.
It was Brejčíková’s third straight title — she won with Ram in 2019, then partnered Nikola Mektić to victory last year before rejoining Ram for this year’s tournament.
Ram also won the Australian Open men’s doubles title in 2020 with Joe Salisbury.