IF THE junior boys' final provided the first consolation for the main event failure by Australians, there was another fillip for locals in the less visible mixed doubles, when Matthew Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova won the tournament.
Ebden and Gajdosova, who entered on a wild card, beat the Czech combination of Lucie Hradeckea and Frantisek Cermak 6-3, 7-5 in a near-empty Rod Laver Arena that said while Australians might rally behind their own, they pay little heed to mixed doubles.
The triumph belonged entirely to the players, who pointed out that they would always have a grand slam title to their names. ''I know it's mixed but it's still a grand slam title,'' said Gajdosova. ''To get that far, you have something that you can talk about for a very long time. You can tell your kids.''
Ebden and Gajdosova, who were born in South Africa and Slovakia respectively, also pocket $135,000 between them.
Ebden and Gajdosova's pairing came after what Ebden described in terms that sounded like a romantic pursuit. ''I chased her up. Back in December, I got hold of her number from a secret person, and she was over in America and I just texted her hoping that she would [say] she would be available to play or wanted to play.
''You know, she's been to the semi-finals of other grand slams twice with another partner who she sometimes plays with, but he wasn't available, so she said 'All right, let's do it.'''