Wimbledon Day 11 | Brits reach mixed doubles final
There will be two Brits in a Wimbledon final on Sunday after Andy Murray and Jo Konta missed out when the tournament rolls back the years — 2007 in particular.
Jamie Murray and his new Swiss partner Martina Hingis will face Heather Watson and Finn Henri Kontinen, the defending champions, in the mixed doubles decider on Centre Court.
Cool to be back in the final. We’ve done it playing some good tennis. Playing on Centre Court again was fun. I’m excited Jamie Murray
Tournament favourites Murray and Hingis, the top seeds, eased home in straight sets against unseeded Spanish pair Marcelo Demoliner and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez on tennis’ most famous court.
And Watson and Kontinen joined them a few minutes later when they overcame Brazilian Bruno Soares, Murray’s former men’s doubles partner, and Russian left-hander Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-7 6-3 on No.1 Court.
Murray claimed the mixed with Serb Jelena Jankovic ten years ago, while Roger Federer, going for a record eighth title this year, and Venus Williams won the singles. And all of them are now doing it all over again. Add to that Hingis claimed the singles in 1997 when she also won the Australian and US Open crowns beside finishing runner-up in the French Open.
And on the same theme home players have helped secure the mixed in 1987 when Jeremy Bates and Jo Durie triumphed.
Murray, ensuring a member of his family has played in an SW19 final for five out of the last six years, was bullish about his chances of more glory when the year ends in a seven.
Murray, 31, said: “Good news for us (that our family have been in so many finals). Hope it continues. Cool to be back in the final. We’ve done it playing some good tennis. Playing on Centre Court again was fun. I’m excited.
“I’ve got a lot more experience under my belt than last time I was in the final, particularly in the last two of three years when I’ve played in some big matches.
“We’re confident. Playing great. It’s a good team. Our opponents will be the hardest we’ve faced. It’ll be a tough match in the final. But it’ll be a tough match for them as well.”.
Hingis added, laughing: “As we are having to play the defending champs so it won’t be easy. Lost to them last year so I’m hoping for revenge.”
The Swiss contacted Murray just before the start of the tournament and asked him to partner her. She said: “I’m very pleased with my pick. Every match we’ve got better. Today was a pure joy.”
It was Hingis who came up with the goods in the deciding game. On her serve, she clawed the 12thgame of the second set back from 0-30 with two service winners and an ace to bring up match point. And when she fired a double-backhand winner by Demoliner’s despairing lunge it was all over.
An unreturnable serve by Kontinen had Watson smiling as it clinched their semi-final win.
Watson and Kontinen had missed an earlier match point at 6-5 in the second set.
But all’s well that ends well.
British No.2 Watson said: “We’re pleased. The final should be a fun match. They are both great players, the atmosphere will be great. It’s a great confidence boost for me. The last few weeks on grass has seen my singles career take off again. It’s good there are two British players in a final. I’m sure they (the British public) are happy.”