21-year-old Max Purcell and 26-year-old Luke Saville are the first Australian pairing to reach the Australian Open doubles final since Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde back in 1998.
The Woodies would lose the 1998 final in five sets to Jonas Bjorkman and Jacco Eltingh. Woodbridge would later team up with Bjorkman and win five Grand Slam doubles titles together after Woodforde retired.
Purcell and Saville had won just once before at this level when they won a first round match at the 2018 Australian Open.
The Aussies defeated the no. 4 seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4.
They had two set points in the opening set Tiebreaker but could not convert.
Purcell and Saville jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second set and they went on to level the match at one set all after claiming the set 6-3.
The Australian pairing again broke early in the deciding set only to concede the break in the next game. The broke in the fifth game to lead 3-2 and held for 4-2.
The Croatian-Slovakian pairing would hold and then break to level the scores at 4-4 however the Australian’s hit back to break and then serve out the match to reach the final.
The majority of their time is spent playing on the ATP Challenger tour where they have won seven doubles titles together in 2019 and they started 2020 winning the Apis Canberra doubles title, also on the Challenger tour.
“It is still sinking in that’s for sure. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster the whole week, honestly. Now we’re sitting in a slam final,” Saville said after the pair booked their place in the final.
“We are thrilled. We knew our level was good, but this is definitely a bit of a surprise.
“We hadn’t too many tour level matches together and now we are sitting in a final. If we could get the title it would be enormous, but we are proud of what we have achieved so far this week.”
The Australian pair will face the no. 11 seeds of Rajeev Ram (USA) and Joe Salisbury (UK).