May 24 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Marray/Nielsen beat Lindstedt/Tecau 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 (7-5), 6-7 (7-5) 6-3
Jonathan Marray became the first Brit to win the men’s doubles since 1936, when Pat Hughes and Raymond Tuckey triumphed.
He and his partner Frederick Nielsen overcame favourites Horia Tecau and Robert Lindstedt in five sets and the Brit was, understandably, over the moon.
“We can’t believe it. It is tough to sink in,” Marray told the BBC.
“We were so close but we stayed calm and dug deep. We served it out.
“When I got out there it was fine. It’s just amazing.
“I just want to cherish every moment and say thanks to Freddie for playing with me.”
The pair needed a wild card to get into the tournament but followed up their victory over defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan in the semi-finals by beating fifth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (7/5) 6-3 in the final.
It was a remarkable victory for Sheffield’s Marray and Nielsen, and is another good omen for Murray ahead of tomorrow’s men’s singles final against Roger Federer.
In 1936, Fred Perry won the singles and Pat Hughes and Raymond Tuckey won the doubles, and no British player had matched either achievement until today.
The result also had historical significance for Nielsen, who went one better than his grandfather Kurt, a two-time runner-up in the singles in the 1950s and the last Danish finalist at the All England Club.
Swede Lindstedt and Romanian Tecau were hoping to make some history of their own having lost in the Wimbledon final for the last two years.
And the fifth seeds began well, breaking the Nielsen serve in the seventh game and going on to take the opening set.
But Marray and Nielsen upped their level in the second set and took it with a break of the Lindstedt serve in the 10th game, Tecau netting a volley on the third set point.
The third set was extremely tight. The only break point came on the Marray serve in the ninth game but the 31-year-old produced a big serve just when it was needed most.
Into a tie-break they went, and Marray and Nielsen seized the initiative by winning the first four points.
It would have been five in a row but Marray pointed out to umpire Eva Asderaki that he had touched the net during the point. It did not cost them, though, Tecau blazing long on Marray and Nielsen’s first set point.
At that point the rain began to fall and there was a break while the roof was shut.
The fourth set was almost a carbon copy of the third, and it looked like Marray and Nielsen would clinch victory when they moved 5-2 in front in the tie-break, only for Lindstedt and Tecau to come up with two stunning returns.
They won five points in a row to level the match, but it was their opponents who managed the first break in more than two sets to move 2-0 ahead in the decider, Lindstedt putting a simple volley wide.
And they held on to their advantage all the way to the finish line, Marray holding serve to clinch a stunning victory, with Nielsen putting away the winning volley.
Marray and Nielsen will take home £130,000 each - almost half what the Yorkshireman has earned in the rest of his career put together.
Wimbledon wildcards Marray and his partner were presented with their trophies by the Duke of Kent on Centre Court tonight.
“The atmosphere in there was second to none,” Nielsen said. “The crowd was fantastic.
“I don’t mind being British for the evening. “I’m proud of my Danish roots though.
“It was worth it. It’s insane, if you told me three weeks ago I wouldn’t have believed you.”
The last time Britain had a doubles champion, Brit Fred Perry won the singles title.
Around 17 million people are set to tune in to watch the men’s final, with the All England club expected to be full to capacity. Famous faces due to attend include tennis fan the Duchess of Cambridge, who will be making her second visit to this year’s championships.
The demand for tickets has soared, with online ticket marketplace Viagogo saying the average ticket sale price has jumped from £3-4,000 to an average of £5-6,000.
The site saw a 395% surge in traffic overnight for searches for men’s finals tickets after Murray booked himself a place in the final, and at one point a pair of tickets were listed on the site today for £32,000.
Murray has admitted he will be the underdog at Centre Court, saying: “It’s a great challenge, one where I’m probably not expected to win the match, but one that, if I play well, I’m capable of winning.
“If you look at his (Federer’s) record here over the past 10 years or so, it’s been incredible. So the pressure that I would be feeling, if it was against somebody else, I guess it would be different. There will be less on me on Sunday because of who he is.”
Murray said he needs to find the “perfect” performance against Federer, who is looking to equal Pete Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles.
It will be the third time Murray and Federer have met in the finals of grand slams, with the Swiss triumphing at the US Open in 2008 and at Melbourne in 2010, both times in straight sets.