Tennis underdog who NEVER expected to make it to the all-Australian doubles final reveals he could MISS the birth of his baby due to Western Australia’s strict quarantine rules – as he prepares to meet Nick Kyrgios
- Australian tennis companion Matt Ebden, 34, will miss the birth of his child
- Must quarantine for two weeks in Western Australia after Australian Open
- Ebden in predicament after Mark McGowan backflips at the border from Feb. 5
- Will partner Max Purcell in doubles final against Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis
- Match starts 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 34-year-old tennis companion confirmed his predicament after Prime Minister Mark McGowan reversed his pledge to open state borders from February 5.
‘I have a baby on the way. My wife (Kim Doig) is due in two weeks. So I’m postponing the return to Perth. I have to go back and go into quarantine for two weeks and possibly miss my baby’s birth (finally),’ said Ebden.
‘(Yeah) it feels awful. When I left, it was certain that I could come back on February 5, but that has (now) changed.
“The due date is the 14th and (he or she) will probably come earlier.”
Australian Open men’s doubles finalist Matt Ebden (pictured with wife Kim) is likely to miss the birth of his baby due to the strict lockdown in Western Australia
The Perth-based journeyman will join Max Purcell (pictured) in the men’s doubles final against Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Australian Open on Saturday.
Ebden, who won the mixed-doubles title at the Australian Open in 2013, will take to the field on Saturday alongside young Sydney-based Max Purcell for a shot at Grand Slam glory.
On the other side of the net at the Rod Laver Arena will be the imposing duo of the Special K’s – Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Aware that their opponents will have the crowd on their side at Melbourne Park, Ebden acknowledged how well the duo have performed as they are not traditional doubles players.
‘I think it’s perfect. You know, we all know each other very well,” he said.
“They also did a great job to get to the final, they had difficult games, just like us.
“I had a little chat with Thanasi this week. I told him you do what you do, you get a chance here or there.
“They were great and we hoped they would win and we would win. It really is a dream final.’
Ebden went on to reveal that he is quietly confident, but he and Purcell respect Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, who have provided plenty of entertainment for fans en route to the final.
“They are (both) great singles players and combine well in doubles. They are super dangerous, they serve really well,” he said.
“So it’s definitely going to be difficult in that regard.
Nick Kyrgios (pictured right) and Thanasi Kokkinakis were the talk of the town at the Australian Open in the men’s doubles
Thanasi Kokkinakis (top) and Nick Kyrgios (red shirt) celebrate their victory in the semifinals on Thursday. They will have the crowd by their side in the men’s doubles final on Saturday night
Ash Barty, the world number one in Brisbane, is on the hunt for her first Australian Open title – her women’s singles final is Saturday from 7.30pm (AEST)
‘They are entertainers, they make a lot of use of the audience. We channeled that a bit in our home slam. We are no strangers to large crowds and loud noises ourselves.
“This is my 16th Australian Open and Max has played a lot of big games. We’ve played Davis Cup and played all over the world in stadiums that feel like football stadiums.
“It’s great, that’s why we play, we want to play Grand Slam finals.”
The all-aussie men’s doubles final on Saturday is scheduled for 8.45pm.
It follows compatriot and top class Ash Barty who takes on American Danielle Collins from 7.30 pm (AEST) in the final of the women’s singles.