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July 11, 2021

Desirae Krawczyk

Neal Skupski

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference


6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. First tournament together. First title. This must be a pretty special feeling.

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, unbelievable feeling. Makes it extra special, being Wimbledon and my home Grand Slam.

Yeah, we played really well today. I think it was our best match of the tournament. It was a good time to produce it. Never easy to play against fellow Brits, especially for Desirae, playing her partner Joe.

But, yeah, Desirae is on fire in mixed doubles now, and hopefully it doesn't continue for the US Open (laughter). But, yeah, amazing week with Desirae. Unbelievable feeling. Yeah.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Yeah, it's obviously great to make the finals, but to win another Grand Slam was just amazing. You know, I didn't really think about it much after French, but it's been a great two weeks playing with Neal. Have had a lot of fun together, gotten to know each other a lot better. Yeah, it's been really, really great (smiling).

Q. Neal, for you, full focus on the Olympics next?

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah. I'll go home, go to Liverpool, take a few days off. Then I will come back to London, train for a couple of days before we head out to Tokyo.

So, yeah, rest up, get ready to go, and long trip to Tokyo, but I'm looking forward to it. It's my first Olympics. I think we've got a good team, got a good team with Andy, myself, Joe, Dan Evans. I think there is a good opportunity of us bringing some silverware home. So looking forward to that. Hopefully we have a good Olympics.

Q. Congratulations. Obviously, Desirae, you have had just an amazing year, really, in doubles. What do you think you have done to raise your level to be one of the top doubles players in the world?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I think it's just obviously a lot of practice, a lot of different matches, you know. I think that when I got to the finals of French with Alexa last year, I think it helped me prepare me for other, bigger moments. You know, I think that definitely helps. I have to just go out there swinging in these big moments. I think I just took it and, yeah, just played well.

Yeah, I think we both played well, and it's been great.

Q. When we just talked with Joe, he seemed to wonder if you might dump him for the US Open. Is that happening?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I'll have to think about it (smiling). No, I'm just kidding. No, we're definitely playing together.

Q. He'll be happy to hear that.


DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Yeah, we agreed to that. I think he asked me before the finals of French. Yes, I will be sticking to that for now.

NEAL SKUPSKI: Smart move.


Q. Well played. Congratulations. Desirae, I wanted to check, what exactly was the discussion and the arrangements with Joe before Wimbledon?

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Before Wimbledon? You mean like if we were going to play together at Wimbledon?

Q. Yeah, yeah.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Well, I think -- I mean, I asked him prior. I just said, Do you want to play for French and Wimbledon? I think French for sure, and then I think he was looking to maybe play with another British player. Yeah, and that was what was told. That's what we said.

Then I asked Neal. And here we are (laughter).

Q. It seemed like a really great performance. How did it feel for you both out there?

NEAL SKUPSKI: Like I said, it was our best performance. I think it helped that we played on Centre Court a couple days ago. It was Desirae and my first appearance on Centre Court a couple days ago, so that kind of settled our nerves today. It felt like a different court actually with the roof on. Felt a little bit smaller, as we spoke just after the match.

But there was still a good atmosphere out there. There were still quite a few people there. I thought there would be quite a few less because of the football.

People got into it. I think people wanted Joe and Harriet to win a little bit more than us.


NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, we played a great match, and we managed to play big moments, especially in the tiebreak.

Q. When it did come up to that tiebreak, and I guess just 5-All the end of the first set, was the football entering your mind, Neal, at all?

NEAL SKUPSKI: I was focused on the tennis. I did see the time at one stage in the match, and I think it was like 7:15, and I was telling myself not to look at the time because things can go very wrong because we were playing so well.

But then I think we finished with 15 minutes to go or 20 minutes to go. Perfect timing for everyone. Everyone's happy.

Q. A first Grand Slam title for you. What does that mean? Like you said, grew up watching Wimbledon and played here a lot. What's it mean to finally get one?

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, it's amazing. I have been playing doubles for, I think it's like pro actually after finishing college probably eight years now. And sometimes you doubt yourself whether you're good enough to be at this level. But you've just got to keep believing, keep trying, keep going for your shots.

It just shows that anything is possible in this sport, and hopefully it's not the last time I'm in a Grand Slam final. Hopefully there is more to come, and the more and more times I get to do that, I feel a lot more confident. Yeah, we'll see how things happen, and I look forward to what the future holds.

Q. Since the French Open and Wimbledon back to back now, you and Novak Djokovic have both done that. A great achievement for you both.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I definitely don't think I have the same accolades as Novak, but thanks for putting us in the same sentence (smiling).

NEAL SKUPSKI: He's never won the mixed.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: That's true. Does he want to play mixed (smiling)?

Q. That must feel really good, especially with just a two-week gap this time.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: Yeah, I mean, obviously winning my first Grand Slam you obviously never forget it, but a few weeks after that, we are winning Wimbledon, I think Wimbledon is just, it's Wimbledon, and it's just something you look forward to. It's my favorite tournament. You know, something I never thought would happen, but, you know, obviously you dream about playing on Centre Court, and that was my first feeling of that. Then to win, you know, a mixed doubles with Neal was just even better. Yeah.

Q. Congratulations. Is this a moment that's sunk in straightaway, or do you think it will take a bit of time given how big of an achievement it is?

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, I think it will take a little bit of time. I still can't really believe we won Wimbledon. It's crazy.

But, yeah, once we finished we did obviously the trophy ceremony and walked in the back and our names are already on the honors board, which I couldn't quite believe. It's surreal.

But, yeah, I think we deserved it. We played well the last 10 days, I guess, when mixed started. We came up big in big points and in difficult situations. It wasn't just -- was it yesterday we played in the semifinal?


NEAL SKUPSKI: Yesterday was a big moment for us I think. It was our biggest test. It was the first set we had lost in the Championships, and we came through that.

So it put us in good stead for today and we came up swinging and it came off, and we're just thrilled to be here as champions.

Q. Does that make you an honorary scouser, Desirae?

NEAL SKUPSKI: A scouser is someone from Liverpool.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: I didn't even know to answer that. I don't think so.

NEAL SKUPSKI: I'll have to teach her some of the slogans and the...

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: He didn't tell me about that one.

NEAL SKUPSKI: I'm trying to speak slow so she can actually understand compared to when I speak at home.

DESIRAE KRAWCZYK: This is not how you speak? You speak faster?

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, faster.

Q. You had a lot of belief, played really well with your brother here at Wimbledon as well. Does it give you belief you can go on and win more Grand Slams now?

NEAL SKUPSKI: Yeah, for sure. I mean, this was the first time I had been in a final at a Grand Slam, and it gives me that belief that I can get over the line.

I mean, me and my brother, it was our biggest tournament that as a partnership we won in Acapulco, the 500, at the start of the year. It was unlucky that Ken got ill straight after, but it's taken a bit of time for him to sort of get back into tennis really. He took a long time off.

But I think we had a good showing here. We'd have liked to have gone a lot further, but we came up against a good team in Granollers and Zeballos who obviously lost yesterday in the final, but they are a very good team. I just believe that if we can keep pushing and keep playing the way we can do, keep believing, I still think we can show a lot as a team and hopefully push on and towards the US Open and go far.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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