Brit Neal Skupski reaches THIRD consecutive Wimbledon final in men’s doubles with Wesley Koolhof

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Neal Skupski reaches the men’s double final with partner Wesley Koolhof as he looks to become the first Brit since 1937 to lift one of the main Wimbledon trophies in three consecutive years

While his brother is on a Balearic beach, Neal Skupski will have his moment in the sun on Centre Court.

The Liverpudlian will play in the men’s doubles final on Saturday after he and Wesley Koolhof beat Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden 7-5, 6-4 in the last four on Thursday.

But Skupski will be without his older brother and coach Ken in his box for the biggest match of his career as he is flying on a family holiday to Ibiza this morning.

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‘He won’t be here for the final but it is perfectly fine,’ insisted the 33-year-old. ‘He doesn’t get to go on holiday often because he’s always away with me.

‘I’m not going to begrudge him going away on holiday and being away with the kids. He will still be on the phone and doing all the homework on our opponents.

Neal Skupski is aiming for a third straight Wimbledon doubles crown after semi-final victory

Neal Skupski is aiming for a third straight Wimbledon doubles crown after semi-final victory

Skupski and partner Wesley Koolhof won 7-5, 6-4 over Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden

Skupski and partner Wesley Koolhof won 7-5, 6-4 over Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden

Those opponents will be Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers of Spain, the 15th seeds and 2021 runners-up. But top seeds Skupski and his Dutch partner Koolhof will start as the favourites – and history beckons for the Brit.

Having won the mixed doubles here in 2021 and 2022, Skupski could become the first British player since Dorothy Round in 1937 to lift one of the main Wimbledon trophies in three consecutive years. He would also be the first man from this country to achieve a hat-trick since Fred Perry in 1936.

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More importantly for Skupski, though, this would be his first men’s doubles Grand Slam title, having lost in the US Open final with Koolhof last August. ‘At the start of the year, we wanted to win our first Grand Slam,’ said Skupski. ‘So to be in the Wimbledon final is extra special for me being British.

‘It is always nice to have a Brit at the end of the tournament at Wimbledon. Luckily, it has been myself in the last couple of years in the mixed doubles. But this is the one we want, this is the one we have been training for, this is the pinnacle if we are able to get over the line.’

Skupski would also be the first British men’s doubles winner since Jonathan Marray triumphed with his Danish partner Frederik Nielsen in 2012.

‘It would be nice to have another Liverpool fan win Wimbledon,’ he smiled. ‘I saw Jonny just before I went on and I said, “Have you got any tips for me?”. He just laughed and said you are, “No1, you will be fine”. That was all the words of wisdom he gave me!’

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And Skupski and Koolhof were just fine in their semi-final with the roof closed on Court No1, needing just one break of serve in each set to beat Australian Ebden – the champion last year – and 43-year-old Indian Bopanna.

Now they are hoping for more of the same on Centre Court. ‘If the roof is closed, then it will be louder and it will be worse for the opponents,’ said Skupski. ‘Centre Court is a little bit different to all of the other courts around the world. There is the Centre Court roar.

‘We are going to give it everything we’ve got. It’s a chance for us to get our first Grand Slam together and we will try and embrace it. As Billie Jean King said, pressure is a privilege.’

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