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And so it begins…

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Brits make Mixed Doubles Final

Britain’s Joe Salisbury is within one match of his quest to raise a Wimbledon trophy this year after he and Harriet Dart scored a 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory over 46-year-old Czech Kveta Peschke & Germany’s Kevin Krawietz on Centre Court late on Friday.

The opening two sets were played with the roof open, before it was closed at the end of the second set because of fading light.

Britain’s Neal Skupski and his American partner Desirae Krawczyk play their semi-final on Saturday against Australia’s John Peers & China’s Shuai Zhang on No 1 Court, with the winners meeting Salisbury & Dart in Sunday’s final.

Salisbury has won two doubles events at Grand Slams, winning the men’s doubles at the 2020 Australian Open with Rajeev Ram, before teaming up with Krawczyk to lift the French Open mixed doubles title earlier this year.

Dart, who lost a Wimbledon mixed doubles semi-final with Jay Clarke in 2018, will be playing in her first Grand Slam final.

Salisbury & Dart have teamed up for the first time at Wimbledon this year and they are proving to be a formidable pair.

In a thrilling Centre Court battle, however, they were given a scare here before gaining the crucial break of serve in the 10th game of the third set to eliminate the 9th seeds.

Dart, 24, was relentlessly hunted by the German-Czech pair in the deciding set, but came through impressively to go one better than 3 years ago.

Salisbury, who has become something of a fixture in Grand Slam finals nowadays, bounced back from his disappointing defeat in the men’s doubles semis on Thursday.

The British pair started well on Friday, though, breaking Peschke to lead 3-1 and, when it came back to the Czech’s next delivery, they scooped that up too, converting a 4th set point when the veteran drifted a volley long.

The No 9 seeds hit back early in the second when Dart’s serve came under fire, which proved the pivotal moment as there were no further breaks, allowing them to level the match.

With the light now fading, the roof was closed so the match could continue under the lights, and the brief break enabled Salisbury & Dart to reset.

They survived a break point on Salisbury’s serve in the first game after the restart, and the deciding set was played out in a tense manner.

The Brit’s chance came at 5-4, again on Peschke’s serve, and they finally got the job done on their 3rd match point.

If Skupski & Krawczyk can get past Peers & Zhang in the second semi-final on Saturday, not before 2pm on No 1 Court, Salisbury could be playing his French Open partner.


Neal Skupski & Desirae Krawczyk play their Mixed Doubles semi-final on Saturday at Wimbledon

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images




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