Henry Patten wins British battle with Neal Skupski to reach men’s doubles final

Henry Patten won the battle of Britain against Neal Skupski in the men’s doubles to reach his first grand slam final at Wimbledon.

Patten had never previously gone beyond the third round at a major tournament but he and Finnish partner Harri Heliovaara have been on a giant-killing run at the All England Club.

That continued on Court One on Thursday as they defeated Skupski, who won the title last year with former partner Wesley Koolhof, and New Zealander Michael Venus 6-4 7-6 (1).

Patten, 28, said: “It feels pretty good. I am not sure it has quite set in. Even when Harri struck that return down the line, moments afterwards I don’t think it had hit us. Neither of us realised what had happened. It’s amazing.”

Skupski and Venus won the titles at Queen’s Club and Eastbourne but Patten and Heliovaara were on top throughout after breaking serve in the opening game.

Heliovaara said: “It was such a good match that we felt so comfortable on the court and it felt like it would happen. There were no question marks in the air when we play. We let it happen and then you enjoy it from the first point to the last.”

Patten and Heliovaara will face Australian duo Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson in the final on Centre Court on Saturday.

In the mixed doubles quarter-finals, there were exits for Jamie Murray and American Taylor Townsend and the all-British duo of Alicia Barnett and Marcus Willis.

Murray – champion back in 2007 with Jelena Jankovic and again in 2017 with Martina Hingis – and Townsend lost narrowly 7-6 (2) 6-7 (7) (10/5) to Jan Zielinski and Hsieh Su-wei.

Willis, famous for his singles run here as a qualifier eight years ago, and Barnett were beaten 6-3 7-5 by Mexican duo Giuliana Olmos and Santiago Gonzalez.

Skupski’s day then ended with another defeat, this time against Venus and Erin Routliffe, as he and Desirae Krawczyk’s hopes of a third mixed doubles title together ended with a 7-5 6-4 loss.

In the men’s wheelchair singles, Alfie Hewett defied a shoulder problem to beat France’s Stephane Houdet 6-1 6-4 and reach the semi-finals.

Britain’s Andy Lapthorne is through to the quad wheelchair doubles final alongside Israeli Guy Sasson after they beat David Wagner and Ahmet Kaplan 6-2 6-4.