Britain’s Neal Skupski brought some home joy with his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof when they defeated Spain’s Marcello Granollers and Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos in the Gentlemen’s Doubles for their first grand slam title and as a result, return to the world No.1 ranking.
"Me and Wesley got together 18 months ago and this was one of our goals for this year: to win a Grand Slam. Now we’ve done it, it feels very special Neal Skupski
As the top seed’s they dropped just one set in the five matches they played to reach the final where they dominated the15th seeded Spanish speaking pair 6-4 6-4 securing the title after just 77-minutes in front of a delighted Centre Court crowd.
Skupski, who fell to the ground when they converted the match point, is the first British male to win the men’s doubles since Jonathan Marray in 2012 and the two are the only Brits in the Open Era to have won the doubles.
The Dutch have been more successful in this discipline as Koolhof is their fourth player to have lifted a men’s doubles trophy in the same period.
Skupski, already a grand slam champion in the Mixed Doubles (2021 and 2022), also made history by becoming the first Brit to win in both disciplines since Leslie Godfree in 1926!
The pair had come close to winning the US Open doubles last year and were clearly determined not to let this opportunity pass with some flawless tennis.
“Growing up watching this amazing championships on TV,” Skupski said on receiving the trophy, “and starting off at Palmerston Tennis Club in Liverpool and going out there with my dad – this feeling at the moment doesn’t get any better.
“Me and Wesley got together 18 months ago and this was one of our goals for this year: to win a Grand Slam. Now we’ve done it, it feels very special.”
The Final, which has been reduced to best of three set rather than five for the first time, required the players to get themselves into the match quickly which the British-Dutch combination did, led in the main by Koolhof who was dominant throughout.
As a pair, Koolhoff and Skupksi work well together and it was clear to see that they have a great understanding of each other’s play.
The first set was pocketed in 40-minutes with just one break point having to be saved.
By concentrating on the Zeballos serve they broke through for 3-2 in the second giving them an unstoppable run to the finish line which they crossed a few games later in what proved to be a high-quality match with a total of five unforced errors recorded, with only one of them attributed to the Skupski-Koolhoff pairing!