It is a very long time since Australia has had one of its players in a final of its own Grand Slam, but at the 2013 Australian Open four players reached this point – one pair in the Ladies’ Doubles and one pair in the Mixed Doubles.
Late on Friday afternoon the wild carded Australian pair of Ashley Barty and Casey Dellaqua came on to Rod Laver Arena to do battle for the Ladies’ Doubles title against the top seeds, Italians Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani. The Aussies had won in straight sets and taken out the 3rd and 14th seeds on their route to the final, while the Italians had played two difficult three setters. In a match went first went the way of one team and then the other, the Italians took the first set 6-2, but the Aussies gave the home crowd hope when they took the second set 6-3 by winning four games on the trot. The deciding set went to the Italians 6-2 to give them three Grand Slam Doubles titles in a row.
The Mixed Doubles final was played as the curtain raiser before the Men’s Singles final on Sunday afternoon. The Australian pair of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden played the Czechs Lucie Hradecka. Neither team was seeded, but the Czechs took out the 7th and 3rd seeds, while the home team had defeated the 2nd and 5th seeds. The Aussies won 6-3 7-5 after a strong tussle in the second set, to lift the trophy in front of a rapturous and partisan crowd.