Swede Robert Lindstedt and Pole Lukasz Kubot are Grand Slam champions for the first time, the pair recording a dominant 6-3 6-3 victory over the unseeded duo of American Eric Butorac and South Africa’s Raven Klaasen in the Australian Open men’s doubles final on Saturday night.
It was success at the fourth attempt for the 36-year-old Lindstedt, who had fallen agonisingly close in three straight Wimbledon doubles finals with Romanian Horia Tecau.
With former Swedish greats Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Enqvist in his supporters’ box, Lindstedt’s elation at finally landing the big prize was evident after putting away a final smash on match point.
A roar of delight soon made way for tears.
“I think everybody could see after the match what it means to me. I cried like a schoolboy, didn't I?” Lindstedt said.
“No, it means the world to me. I even messed up the speech and everything.
“Lukasz is such a good tennis player. He's got a singles career, too. For me, this is all I've got. I've been working so hard, so hard, for this. Fighting injuries and working with the right people back home, trying to find ways to make this happen.
“I'm in the gym more than I am on the tennis court. So it's a childhood dream come true, and I'm probably not going to believe it until I finish my career. But it means absolutely everything to me.”
The 32-year-old Kubot broke into a celebratory Polish folk dance after the win, the same seen during his surprise run to the Wimbledon singles quarterfinals last year.
“I'm happy he did it alone,” Lindstedt joked.
“I saw Robert was a little bit tight in the end. He was almost cramping. I didn't want him to put the leg so high,” Kubot said.
“I had this agreement with my family. I said ‘if I win this tournament, on the centre court I will do it’. I think I did it. It wasn't even embarrassing.”
Lindstedt was on fire throughout the final, only dropping his first point on serve while serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set.
It was a nerve-racking finish for the Swede as he saved a break point on serve before bringing up match point when Butorac’s return floated long. The 14th seeds then sealed the match after 65 minutes.