x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Knowles' doubles glory gives Britons consolation

Mark Knowles of the Bahamas clinches the mixed-doubles with Germany's Anne-Lena Groenefeld, the last title to be decided at the 2009 Championships.

LONDON // British fans, deflated when Andy Murray came up fractionally short in his desire to provide them with a home-grown men's singles champion, claimed a tenuous share of the glory in the last of the events to be decided at the 2009 Championships. Mark Knowles, officially representing the Bahamas, revealed that he considers himself at least half British after partnering Germany's Anne-Lena Groenefeld to a surprise 7-5, 6-3 victory over the top seeds Leander Paes (India) and Cara Black (Zimbabwe).

My mother's British," said Knowles, who admitted being "carried" by his female partner to his first major honour. "I have a British passport. I came here when I was nine years old to watch the [Bjorn] Borg/[John] McEnroe final." Paes, who had won the title twice before with Martina Navratilova and Lisa Raymond, had been expected to complete a hat-trick with three different partners but the ninth seeds recovered strongly from 2-5 in the opening set to take the spoils.

A beaming Groenefeld said: "We played already very well together at the French Open. We knew we were capable of doing pretty well. Here we were almost out in the quarters when we lost the first set 6-Love, but we kept fighting." Meanwhile Serena Williams said she did not think of herself as among the greats of the sport despite picking up her 11th grand slam singles title at Wimbledon. The 27-year-old beat sister Venus 7-6(7-3), 6-2 in Saturday's final to clinch her third Wimbledon title. But she said: "I can't put myself in a sentence with the greatest, because I think of people like Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf and Billie Jean King."

The boys' champion at Wimbledon is traditionally described as the new Borg, Sampras or Federer and the latest to carry that burden is Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov. "This is the best win of my life," he enthused after a fight-back against American Jordan Cox had brought a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph. Thailand's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn became the junior version of Serena Williams by adding the girls doubles title to the singles crown she had taken from Britain's Laura Robson.

Lertcheewakarn and partner Sally Peers needed only 47 minutes to beat Silvia Njiric and Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 6-1. wjohnson@thenational.ae