British interest in Wimbledon, indeed, the Murray family’s interest in the event, remains, albeit only in the mixed doubles. Jamie Murray, Andy’s brother, moved into the quarter-finals with his Australian partner Casey Dellacqua. He was joined there by the all-British pair of Neal Skupski and Naomi Broady after a dramatic victory over Florin Mergea and Elina Svitolina.
The Lancastrian duo needed 11 match points before taking the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in just over two hours. “We’re in the quarter-finals, which is unbelievable, but we’re loving every time we get on to the grass,” said Skupsi, who has spent the last few years playing college tennis in the US.
Skupsi, from Liverpool, and Broady, from Stockport, were wild-card entrants into the draw. They have already beaten the ninth seeds and now play 16th seeds Aisam Qureshi and Vera Dushevina.
Murray, who won the mixed doubles in 2007 with Jelena Jankovic, and with Dellacqua is 10th-seeded, moved more smoothly into the last eight with an impressive 7-5, 6-3, 81-minute win over the sixth seeds Horia Tecau and Sania Mirza. They are now the second-highest seeds left in an always unpredictable event.
The pair came together almost by accident. Dellacqua explained: “I asked John Peers [Jamie’s men’s doubles partner] if he knew anyone who might want to play mixed and Jamie said, ‘How about me?’ I couldn’t really say no.
“It’s great playing with a Murray in England,” she added. “He gets lots of support and I’ve had opportunities to play on centre court, so it’s great.”
Jamie said: “At least someone is still playing who the family can support,” then added of Andy, “he’s had a pretty good run of things at Wimbledon over the last few years so I won’t lose too much sleep. He’s disappointed but he’ll be back.”