Alan Titchmarsh among fans ‘excited’ for Britain’s Neal Skupski in doubles final

Fans at the SW19 grounds said they would be rooting for the British player and his partner.

Alan Titchmarsh among fans ‘excited’ for Britain’s Neal Skupski in doubles final

Broadcaster and gardener Alan Titchmarsh is among the tennis fans who are “excited” to watch British player Neal Skupski in the mixed doubles final at Wimbledon.

Skupski and his American partner Desirae Krawczyk, who won Wimbledon together last year, will go up against Australians Matthew Ebden and Samantha Stosur for the Championship title on Centre Court on Thursday.

Fans at the SW19 grounds said they would be cheering on the duo but added they felt the fact a Briton is playing in a Wimbledon final has gone “under the radar”.

British players Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram are currently playing their semi-finals match against Ebden and his men’s doubles partner Max Purcell on Court One.

Titchmarsh, who was at Wimbledon with his wife Alison for her birthday, said they would be rooting for Skupski as they watch the doubles on Centre Court.

Wimbledon 2022 – Day Ten – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Neal Skupski celebrates winning in the semi-finals (PA)

“It is a good place to come for a birthday.

“I think it’s the fact that we have had so many (British players) get so far this year.

“It’s been a vintage year and Cameron Norrie with all hopes on him – so very patriotic.”

John Cartner, 52 and his wife Rosalyn, from Ayrshire in Scotland, also said they were “excited” to watch Skupski and Krawczyk as fans of doubles tennis.

Mr Cartner said: “We hope it will be a tight match so it goes on a bit longer, a bit more exciting.

Wimbledon 2022 – Day Ten – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski celebrates winning their mixed doubles semi-final match against Sania Mirza and Mate Pavic (PA)

He added that he also feels not enough commentary or focus is given to doubles tennis.

“Every year there is somebody (British) in doubles – there is always someone doing really well in doubles,” Mr Cartner added.

“And he’s the defending champion.”

Mr Cartner went on to say: “I would be disappointed if we see the ladies’ semis and then the place is empty when the doubles final is on because the doubles final is quite a big thing – any final is a big thing.”

Wimbledon 2022 – Day Eleven – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
John Cartner, 52 and his with Rosalyn, 47, from Ayrshire attend day 11 of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (PA)

Ms Little said: “We will definitely be watching that doubles final on Centre Court later.”

At first, the pair were unaware that a British player would be in the match but Ms Little said they would now be backing Skupski.

“Yes, we’re excited,” she said. “Nobody seems to be talking about this person, why’s that?”

Ms Craig added: “This guy seems to have slipped under the radar.”

Ms Little said: “I haven’t been glued to the commentary, but I think the commentary has missed out potentially of bigging this up and making more of it.

“If we won’t be biased about our home-grown players, who will be?”

Wimbledon 2022 – Day Eleven – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Jill Little, 60, and Kim Craig, 60, from Belfast, attend day 11 of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (PA)

He later added: “Hopefully we get a nice British crowd to cheer us on and hopefully we do not have too big a gap between the ladies’ semis.

“Hopefully a lot of the people will stay and watch.

“It will be difficult, maybe Wimbledon sees everyone go and they will open the grounds up and let everyone come in if they’ve got a grounds pass but I guess that will just depend on how long our match will go on.”

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