Barbora Krejcikova and Rajeev Ram have regained the Australian Open mixed doubles title.
The sixth seeds, AO 2019 champions, dominated proceedings 6-1 6-4 facing Australian wild card duo Sam Stosur and Matt Ebden.
“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,” said Ram, paying tribute to his teammate’s treble of titles at Melbourne Park.
“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.
“This is so cool, especially in front of you guys, we haven’t played with fans in such a long time.”
Time to soak in another special moment for these major players.
It was a high-quality quartet on court, with all four players on the mixed doubles roll of honour in Melbourne.
A shaky opening service game from Ebden gifted the sixth seeds an instant break. Ram was comfortable on serve, whilst Krejcikova was absorbing the extensive power from the home charges.
Costly errors punished Ebden and Stosur. In contrast, Ram imposed himself at the net, reading the play to fire the Czech-American combination 4-0 ahead.
US Open 2011 champion Stosur demonstrated her superb reactions to help the wild cards get onto the scoreboard after 15 costly minutes.
However, the 2019 winners remained rock-solid and cruised to a set advantage.
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.
Ebden and Stosur were finding their feet, building confidence up the court and striking with intensified conviction.
It wasn't quite enough to disrupt the rhythm over the net. Up 5-4, Krejcikova’s searing backhand pass and Ram’s relentless pressure up at net sent the Czech-American combination towards championship point. As Ebden said on court it was a “flawless” showing from the title winners.
“Well done, you guys were way too good tonight,” said Stosur.
“It shows why you’ve won a few titles together before. Congrats and all the best for the rest of the year.”