Neal Skupski, the likeable Liverpudlian, is yet again the last British player standing at Wimbledon

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Neal Skupski, the likeable Liverpudlian, is yet again the last Brit standing at Wimbledon, as he and Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof reach the men’s doubles semi-finals

And then there was one. A day which began with six British players in the doubles, ended with Neal Skupski flying the flag on his own. But then again, that is nothing new for the likeable Liverpudlian.

In both 2021 and 2022, Skupski was the only home champion from the five main draw events, winning the mixed doubles both years with his American partner Desirae Krawczyk.

This time around, he is into the men’s doubles semi-finals, with the chance to become the first Brit since Dorothy Round in 1937 to lift a main Wimbledon title three years in a row.

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‘It will be an amazing achievement if I do go and do that, winning three in a row, but there is still a long, long way to go,’ said Skupski after he and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof beat Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in their quarter-final on Wednesday.

The top seeds will meet the sixth-seeded pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden in Thursday’s semi-final. But Skupski’s run has posed a problem for his brother-come-coach Ken, who is due to fly on holiday to Ibiza with his wife and three children on the same day.

Neal Skupski is once again the last Brit standing at Wimbledon by reaching the semi-finals

Neal Skupski is once again the last Brit standing at Wimbledon by reaching the semi-finals

Skupski and his partner Wesley Koolhof have reached Thursday's men's doubles semi-finals

Skupski and his partner Wesley Koolhof have reached Thursday’s men’s doubles semi-finals

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‘Ken is in a bit of a conundrum,’ revealed Skupski. ‘Wimbledon has gone back a week and he didn’t check the dates before he booked his holiday.

‘He said he might have to say, so we will see what he does. It is up to him. He will be there no matter what on the end of my phone. But it seems like he is wanting to stay and then maybe fly out whenever this finishes. We will have a discussion – and he will have a discussion with his wife!’

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While Skupski says he can cope without his coach, he admits this men’s title is the one he really wants. He has not yet won a Grand Slam in his favoured event and this is already his best run in it at Wimbledon, having reached the quarter-finals with his brother in 2017. The last British man to win the men’s doubles was Jonathan Marray in 2012 – and he was the first in 76 years.

‘I play men’s doubles week in, week out and to win Wimbledon is the pinnacle of what I can achieve,’ said Skupski. ‘Obviously winning any event at Wimbledon is special, but to win the men’s it would be extra special.’

Following his twin titles here, Skupski – whose dad Ken Snr was a policeman in Liverpool and also once a goalkeeper on the books of Aston Villa – says he has finally been recognised around Wimbledon and been asked for the odd autography. However, he is yet to get the credit his notable achievements merit.

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‘When Wimbledon comes around, the singles guys get a lot of the attention and the doubles guys don’t get some of the attention they deserve,’ he added. ‘But if I go later on in the tournament, hopefully I get recognition and it gets the headlines a little bit more.’

Jamie Murray and Michael Venus were eliminated in their men's doubles quarter-final

Jamie Murray and Michael Venus were eliminated in their men’s doubles quarter-final

Skupski is guaranteed that now he is the last Brit standing. In the men’s doubles, Jamie Murray and Michael Venus lost their quarter-final against Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday.

While Maia Lumsden and Naiktha Bains, the first British women’s doubles pair to reach the last eight since 1983, also bowed out, losing 6-2, 6-1 to third seeds Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter.

There was also disappointment in the mixed doubles semi-final for Andy Murray’s coach Jonny O’Mara and his fellow Brit Olivia Nicholls. They went down 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 to Croatian Mate Pavic and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine, who would prove a popular winner if she triumphed in Thursday’s final.

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