Krawczyk wins second straight Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Neal Skupski
Twice as nice: American Desirae Krawczyk and Great Britain's Neal Skupski are Wimbledon mixed doubles champions again. The No. 2 seeds sealed the first championship awarded this year at the All-England Club on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Australia's Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden.
Seeded No. 7 a year ago, Krawczyk and Skupski were more prohibative favorites to take the title this time around; however, they didn't have it all their own way over the course of the Championships. They were stretched to three sets in their opening win against Krawczyk's U.S. Billie Jean King Cup teammate Asia Muhammad and Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis, and also came from a set and a break down against India's Sania Mirza and Croatia's Mate Pavic in the semifinals.
Krawczyk is now 4-0 in her career in mixed doubles finals at Grand Slams; she won three of the four majors played last year with three different partners. In addition to triumphing at Wimbledon with Skupski, she partnered Skupski's compatriot, Joe Salisbury, to win at Roland Garros, and joined with Marcelo Arevelo to win the US Open.
The duo are the first mixed doubles team to defend a major title since Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won back-to-back US Open titles in 2018 and 2019; they're the first to do it at Wimbledon since Czechs Helena Sukova and Cyril Suk won in 1996 and 1997.
"To try to defend the title with someone you won it with the year before is something I wanted to do personally," Skupski said. "It was very special to do that at Wimbledon."
The championship match started more than an hour behind schedule to give Ebden appropriate recovery time after he and fellow Aussie Max Purcell started the day with a five-set win over No. 1 seeds Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram in the men's doubles semifinals, where they saved multiple match points. Krawczyk and Skupski broke serve three times in the ensuing 87-minute championship; after the first nine games of the match went with serve, Krawczyk and Skupski took their first break point to earn a one-set lead, and they later won four straight games from a break down at 2-1 in the second set.
"It's great to be back here again ... and to be on Centre Court winning our second Wimbledon in a row," Krawczyk said. "I was telling Neal, on the court I wasn't really nervous. For me, that's kind of a bad sign a little bit. But I think when it got to 5-2, I was kind of feeling it. I was like, 'Oh, my gosh,' we're kind of getting to the end. Until that match point, it's not over until it's over. You have to keep pushing, playing it out."
Thursday's action at Wimbledon also saw the start of the wheelchair competition, where Americans Dana Mathewson and David Wagner played their singles quarterfinal matches. Wagner was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over South Africa's Donald Ramphadi, while Mathewson was beaten by world No. 1 Diede de Groot of the Netherlands, 6-1, 6-1. They'll each play in the doubles semifinals on Friday, while Wagner will play second-seeded Dutchman Sam Schroder in Saturday's semifinals.