Aussie tennis seeks ‘Super Saturday’ glory

Murray Wenzel |

Forty-two is the magic number as five Australians eye titles on so-called ‘Super Saturday’ at Melbourne Park.

It’s been 42 years since an all-Australian men’s doubles final at the Australian Open and just as long since a local woman has played for the women’s title.

Mark Edmondson and Kim Warwick downed Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee in 1980, while that same year Wendy Turnbull was the last Australian face in a women’s decider.

Until now.

The clocks can be reset on Saturday when Matt Ebden and Max Purcell play Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios for the doubles title, before world No.1 Ash Barty looks to complete a dominant tournament for the hosts.

It’ll be a vibrant contrast in styles, the men dubbed the ‘Special Ks’ turning tennis into a rock concert, while modest two-time champion Barty has been formidably understated. 

Their appearances follow a final loss in Friday’s mixed doubles final for Australian wildcards Jason Kubler and Jaimee Fourlis, while Dylan Alcott’s tennis farewell ended in a quad singles final loss on Thursday.

Demanding “hype”, Kyrgios was typically straight to the point as he described the final match-up as “f***ing awesome” while Ebden declared the pressure was on his higher-profile rivals.

Barty says it’s “unreal, so incredible” to be the first Australian woman to make the final since Wendy Turnbull in 1980, and potential first winner since Chris O’Neil two years earlier.

“To be in the finals weekend of your home grand slam is what a lot of Aussie players dream of,” she said.