Wimbledon 2022: Doubles hero Neal Skupski relishes emulating Fred Perry with title defence

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Wimbledon 2022: Doubles hero Neal Skupski relishes emulating Fred Perry with title defence
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Neal Skupski became only the second Briton since Fred Perry in 1936 to successfully defend a Wimbledon title after winning the mixed doubles with Desirae Krawczyk.

The No2 seeds came away 6-4, 6-3 winners over Matthew Ebden and Sam Stosur on Thursday night, with Skupski emulating John Lloyd, who had won the mixed in 1983 and 1984.

Of that historic feat, Skupski said: “That’s pretty special. I didn’t know that. 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 feel real.”

The Briton’s cause was helped by Ebden being embroiled in a lengthy five-setter earlier with Max Purcell against Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram.

Skupski had been set to play with Gabby Dabrowski, with Krawczyk having agreed to play with Salisbury only for Salisbury to withdraw from the mixed when it was announced the men’s doubles would be best of five sets.

American Krawczyk said the late decision had “paid off” while Skupski said it was a U-turn he couldn’t reject.

“To try to defend the title with someone you won it with the year before is something I wanted to do personally,” he said. “It was very special to do that at Wimbledon.

“It is very difficult [for Dabrowski]. Like the doubles tour, the men’s tour, ladies’ tour, it happens. People get dropped week in, week out. People do get used to it. It’s not nice.”

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