Wimbledon 2022: Sublime Skupski and Krawczyk defend title

Liverpool’s Neal Skupski made history with a second straight mixed doubles title at Wimbledon on Thursday night.

Skupski and his American partner beat Australian duo Matt Ebden and Sam Stosur 6-4 6-3 to back up their success at the All England Club 12 months ago.

The pair had not found it easy to return to the final for the second straight year, having rallied from a set and a break down to beat Mate Pavic and Sania Mirza in Wednesday’s semi-final.

However it proved to be a much more straightforward affair in the final, the duo coming from an early break down in the second set to seal a comfortable victory in just under an hour and a half.

It was a second Grand Slam title for the 32-year-old while for Krawczyk it was a fourth mixed title in the last six Grand Slam tournaments.

His successful defence makes him the first Brit in an able-bodied event since John Lloyd won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 1984 to defend a Grand Slam title – and only the second since Fred Perry won his third straight title at SW19 in 1936.

He said: “That’s pretty special – I didn’t know that myself!

“Wimbledon for me is the best tournament in the world. To be able to win it once with Des, then back it up, win it again, it’s quite crazy. It’s a lifelong dream for me. It doesn’t really feel real.

“We came into this tournament not really knowing what to expect. We had a great run last year. Des does great in the mixed in most Grand Slams. We came into it not knowing what we were going to achieve.

“We took it one match at a time. We had a tough first match against Asia Muhammad and [Thanasi] Kokkinakis. That could have easily gone a different way.

“We’re just very happy and very thrilled to be champions once again.”

The title was particularly sweet for Skupski with his parents in the crowd to watch him lift the trophy, having not been able to attend last year due to covid restrictions.

“Last year was for me my first Grand Slam. Des won the French a couple weeks before. It was quite special for me,” he added.

“It was amazing to have more people in the box today, especially for my parents to watch me live. They weren’t able to come last year. It’s definitely extra special this year for me.

“And obviously to play on Centre Court is always special. Being the 100 years of Centre Court, it being the first final on Thursday, I think it is quite special this one compared to last year.”

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