Wimbledon: Fleming out, but Marray makes it a British double in finals
LINLITHGOW’S Colin Fleming and Taiwanese partner Su-Weh Hsieh were knocked out of the mixed doubles yesterday, going down in three sets to No 2 seeds Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik. The Serb and the Slovenian won the quarter-final 7-6, 6-3.
It was a disappointing end but an encouraging campaign for the Scot and his colleague, with whom he only teamed up on the eve of the championship. His hope now is that it will be useful preparation for the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Marray set his sights on Wimbledon glory after becoming the first Briton to make the men’s doubles final in 52 years.
Marray and partner Freddie Nielsen had only played together in three tournaments before Wimbledon, but they defied the odds to pull off a huge upset against 11-time grand slam champions Bob and Mike Bryan. The 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 6-7 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5) victory enhanced the feelgood factor around British tennis after Andy Murray progressed to the men’s singles final.
Marray, who is based in Sheffield, will take to Centre Court for the first time tomorrow since he visited the most famous arena in tennis to watch Tim Henman lose to Goran Ivanisevic in the semi-finals 11 years ago. Now after going one better than the former British No 1, 31-year-old Marray wants to fulfil his childhood dream of lifting a trophy at Wimbledon.
Marray said: “Winning a trophy at Wimbledon is why I play tennis. That’s what I dreamed of when I was growing up so for it to come true would be the pinnacle of my career. I played Court One last year, but I haven’t played on the big one. I’ve only been there as a punter. I saw Tim Henman play Goran in the semis on Centre. That was not the result we wanted in the end, but it was a great atmosphere there.”
Marray is the first British player to reach the final of the men’s doubles since Bobby Wilson and Mike Davies did so in 1960 and the last time a Briton won the event was 76 years ago. Marray and Nielsen’s progression to the final rarely seemed in doubt yesterday, despite their status as underdogs.
The Anglo-Danish duo broke at the perfect time in the tenth game and then edged two tie-breaks to cause euphoric scenes among the few hundred spectators who had shunned Murray to watch Marray on Court 12. “It’s a big scalp, definitely,” Marray said. “They’ve won all these tournaments many times over so to beat them in our first semi-final at Wimbledon is a pretty big thing.”
Marray turned professional 12 years ago but a series of injuries forced him to turn to the doubles game, where he has enjoyed very little success.
The gulf in status between the two pairs is summed up by the fact that the Bryans have won more than £11.5million throughout their careers while Marray has amassed just £275,000 playing Challenger tournaments.
Marray has won many admirers for the way he has strolled through the doubles competition, most notably Anne Keothavong. The women’s British No 1 and Marray’s mixed doubles partner at Wimbledon last night asked the 31-year-old out for dinner next week. “Let’s see after tomorrow,” Marray replied.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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