Best all-British women’s doubles run at Wimbledon since 1983 comes to an end | Wimbledon 2023

new balance

Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden were denied a semi-final spot in the Wimbledon women’s doubles after being outclassed by the third seeds, Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter. The wildcards have enjoyed a fine run at the All England Club and were the first all-British pair to reach the last eight of the draw for 40 years.

But their impressive progression was ended emphatically on Court Two as the 2021 champion Mertens and her Australian partner Hunter eased through 6-2, 6-1. Bains and Lumsden had hailed emulating the 1983 achievement of Jo Durie and Anne Hobbs as “surreal”.

The two 25-year-olds were on the backfoot from the start after a double fault from the Leeds-born Bains gifted their rivals the opening game and she again failed to hold serve in game five. Lumsden, who previously feared her career may be ended by long Covid, showcased some classy shots and there was plenty of power from Bains, but it was not enough to prevent the more experienced duo wrapping up the opening set in 35 minutes.

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Storm Hunter (left) and Elise Mertens have made easy progress through to the last four of the women’s doubles.
Storm Hunter (left) and Elise Mertens have made easy progress through to the last four of the women’s doubles. Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA

The Belgian Mertens – the former world No 1 doubles player – and Hunter received a third-round walkover after their Czech opponent Marketa Vondrousova withdrew following her progression to the semi-finals of the singles, while their second-round match ended prematurely because of an opposition retirement.

After the British pair were each broken either side of being unable to capitalise on three break points, a few drops of rain at 6-2, 3-0 threatened to impede further straightforward progression. But play quickly resumed and the weather held as Bains and Lumsden ended a memorable run with defeat in an hour and 11 minutes.

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More to follow.

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