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Wimbledon: mixed doubles final

Murray and Watson to ensure British win

 

Martina Hingis and Jamie Murray

A British champion is guaranteed at Wimbledon this year when number one seeds Jamie Murray and Martin Hingis take on defending mixed doubles title holders Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen in Sunday’s final.

A packed crowd will set aside their disappointment at seeing Andy Murray and Johanna Konta fail to make it through to the either of the singles finals in order to celebrate another milestone in the growth of homegrown talent.

It is the fifth time in six years that at least one Briton has been in one of the big five finals and it will be the fourth time in six years that a British player has won a Wimbledon title (Gordon Reid also won the inaugural wheelchair singles title last year).

Mixed doubles continues to enjoy popular support though the prize money has failed to keep pace with other competitions at the tournament. The winners’ prize money has not risen for three years and at £100,000 per pair is only £10,000 more than it was in 2004.

As for the match, Watson and Kontinen will attempt to break down a successful Murray/Hingis pairing which is yet to drop a set. Hingis, who asked Murray to play, is seeking what would be a 23rd grand slam title, including 18 in doubles.

Murray has played few mixed doubles since he won the title at Wimbledon with Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in 2007.

However, he was delighted to be asked by Hingis. “I wasn’t planning on playing the mixed, but it was a great opportunity for me to play with a great player – and I’m glad I did,” he said.

“She’s an amazing player and has shown that all this week. I’m really glad I decided to play. It is great to be in a grand slam final and I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be a great occasion for us.”

Watson and Kontinen defeated the No 2 seeds, Murray’s men’s partner Bruno Soares and Elena Vesnina of Russia.

Watson said: “It’s great that two Brits are in the final but it doesn’t make a difference. It’s going to be a great match. I think the atmosphere’s going to be great. I hope it’s a full crowd and everybody gets involved.”

> Spain’s Garbine Muguruza won her first Wimbledon title with a straight sets win over five-time champion Venus Williams.

The 23-year-old saved two set points and won the last nine games in a 7-5 6-0 victory.

Muguruza denied the 37-year-old American a first major title for nine years, which would have made her the oldest female Grand Slam champion in the Open era.

It is 14th seed Muguruza’s second Grand Slam title after her French Open triumph over Serena Williams in 2016.

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