By Paul Lagan at Wimbledon
Men’s Doubles final
Koolhof/Skupski v Granollers/Zeballos 6-4, 6-4
Well, that was one way of earning £300,000.
Liverpudlian Neal Skupski and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof saw of the dogged resistance of 15th seeded pairing of Marcel Granollers, from Spain and Horacio Zeballos from Argentina.
That’s £300k for each of them and it was fully deserved.
In an hour and 16 minutes, the Centre Court, often half-full saw a match in which the losing pairing simply could not break the serve of their opponents – there was a couple of glimpses of a break, especially on Skupski’s serve, but Koolhof got his partner out of jail.
Skupski is now the first British man since in the 1920s to have won the men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon.
First three games with serve, no chance of a break.
But on Skupski’s serve he went 15, e- down, but some excellent net play by his partner saw off the challenge to level the first set 2-2.
Serves went and came, u challenged until the infamous seventh game, and it was the Spaniard Marcel Granollers who was the first to falter and was broken by some excellent net play and lobbed returns by Koolhof and Skupski.
The Liverpudlian held his serve to make it 5-3.
A set point appeared for the no1 seeds, which was promptly lost.
Another appeared and like a star behind a cloud, it too disappeared.
So it was left to Koolhof to serve for the set and he was imperious and the duo duly saw out the set 6,4 in 40 minutes.
Games came and went once again in the second set, until the Argentina player Horacio Zeballos, came around to serve . sadly for him and his partner her was broken to 30 giving the Brit and the Dutchman a vital break to lead 3-2.
Skupski could thank his partner for sparing his blushes on his serve. Some less than convincing first serves were salvaged by Koolhof’s quick net actions to punch away vital winners.
At 4-3, it was Koolhof’s turn to cement their advantage and he was on top form, seeing out his game to love. A wonderful shot classically down the centre, between the two opponents sealed the game.
Zeballos held his game easily, leaving the man from Liverpool to serve for the Championship.
Which he did with class and aplomb.
Pictured top: Skupski and Koolhof win the Men’s Doubles title Picture: Paul Lagan
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