Wimbledon 2023 results: Britain’s Neal Skupski wins maiden Grand Slam title with Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof

Britain’s Neal Skupski won a maiden Grand Slam men’s doubles title at Wimbledon alongside Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof.

The top seeds beat Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4 6-4.

Skupski, watched by brother and former doubles partner Ken who interrupted a family holiday to be there, became the first Briton to win the mixed and men’s doubles titles at SW19 since 1926.

It is his third successive title here, having won the mixed in 2021 and 2022.

Skupski and Koolhof had never won a Grand Slam together after teaming up 18 months ago and the Briton said after they reached the final it would be the “pinnacle” to achieve the feat at the All England Club.

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Skupski did not even wait for the ball to be called out on match point before throwing himself on to the grass in celebration, lying there stunned before running to embrace his partner.

He then fist-pumped towards his box and eventually climbed up to it to hug friends and family, a tradition that has become synonymous with Wimbledon title victories.

“I don’t know what to say. This feeling at the moment doesn’t get any better,” Skupski said.

“Me and Wesley came together and this year it was one of our goals to win a Grand Slam. Now that we’ve done it, it feels very special.”

The last Briton to win the men’s doubles title was Jonathan Marray, who triumphed with Danish partner Frederik Nielsen 11 years ago, while it is almost 100 years since Leslie Godfree won the men’s doubles title with Randolph Lycett in 1923 and the mixed doubles title with Kitty Godfree three years later.

Having won the mixed doubles for the last two years with American partner Desirae Krawczyk, Skupski was bidding to become the first Briton to win a non-wheelchair Wimbledon title in three consecutive years since 1937 when Dorothy Round did it.

The pair, who had lost the US Open final last year, bided their time and a first break point arrived in the seventh game after some clever returning and pressure at the net with the duo securing it when Spain’s Granollers hit a double fault.

A confident service game from Liverpudlian Skupski followed with a hold to 15 before Argentine Zeballos hit an ace to save set point and force Koolhof to serve it out, which he did with a convincing hold to love.

Skupski and Koolhof needed just one break of serve in the second set and it came in the fifth game when Koolhof smashed into the turf at the third time of asking after the 15th seeds had saved two break points.

Then came an edgy Skupski service game where he double-faulted before a superb reaction return at the net from Koolhof consolidated the break.

The pair missed two break points in the seventh game but wrapped up victory when Granollers sent a forehand return long after they had brought up three Championship points, lapping up the applause from the partisan crowd before drinking in the atmosphere with a lap of honour.

The triumph came just moments after Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid secured their fifth Wimbledon title together in the men’s doubles wheelchair event.

Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof celebrated with brother Ken [left] and other family and friends in the player box following their triumph

Brother Ken ‘went to Ibiza for 14 hours but came back’

Skupski’s brother Ken, his former partner and now coach after he retired last year, had booked to go on holiday to Ibiza on Thursday having not realised it would clash with the final.

He delayed his plans to be at the pair’s last-four match but flew to Ibiza on Friday before deciding he could not miss seeing his brother in a Wimbledon final and flying back in the early hours of Saturday morning.

“He did go to Ibiza for probably 14 hours and came back,” Skupski said.

“He [Ken] got to Ibiza around 9:30am on Friday, enjoyed the day there then had a 1am flight this morning back from Ibiza that was delayed a couple of hours. Got into Gatwick at 4:30am and slept in a pod at Gatwick airport.

“He was on court with me borrowing my clothes. He’s already left to go back to Ibiza with the family. He probably wants a pay rise!

“He always said, ‘If you make the final, I’m coming back’. But I don’t know if he ever believed that I’d make the final.”


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