'Two In A Row, Baby!' Krawczyk/Skupski Retain Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Title
Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski successfully defended their Wimbledon mixed doubles crown Thursday by claiming the first trophy on offer this fortnight at The Championships. The American-British pair defeated Australians Matthew Ebden and Sam Stosur 6-4 6-3 to back up their 2021 title run on Centre Court.
"Two in a row baby, at Wimbledon," Krawczyk said to her partner during the trophy ceremony.
Skupski, who was delighted to be playing in front of his parents at his home Grand Slam, revealed that the pair had not been planning on defending its title until just before the tournament.
"I got a last-minute call from Des to play," he said. "We weren't meant to play, so we've only been a team for two weeks. We'll have to go for three next year, if she plays with me," he added with a smile.
In the title match, the second seeds converted on all three of their break chances in the one-hour, 27-minute final. But it was Ebden/Stosur who had the better of the opening exchanges in both sets.
In a crucial early game, Krawczyk/Skupski battled through 10 deuces and saved two break points to move ahead 3-2 in the opening set. Their hard work paid off when they secured their first break of the match to snatch the opening set in its 10th game.
The Australians scored an early break in set two, but dropped the next four games after leading 2-1. From 4-2, Krawczyk and then Skupski held to love to close out the match.
Krawczyk/Skupski are the first team to repeat as Wimbledon mixed doubles champions since Czech siblings Cyril Suk and Helena Sukova in 1996-97. The last British man to successfully defend a mixed doubles title at The Championships was John Lloyd (1983-84); the last American woman to do so was Billie Jean King (1973-74).
Despite the mixed doubles loss, Ebden is still standing in the men's doubles draw. He and partner Max Purcell defeated Skupski and Wesley Koolhof in the Round of 16, and the Australian pair advanced to the final with another five-set victory earlier on Thursday against top seeds Rajeev Ram and Salisbury. They saved five match points in that match and have now won four five-setters this fortnight.
"It's been an amazing two weeks for you and Max Purcell," Skupski told his opponent. "I don't know how you're still standing. You've played about 700 five-set matches. Good luck in the final."