Ken Skupski chooses Ibiza holiday over watching brother Neal’s Wimbledon final

Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof play at Wimbledon
Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof at Wimbledon

Ken Skupski has opted to go on his family holiday in Ibiza instead of watching his brother Neal in the Wimbledon men’s doubles final.

Ken, who retired last year, is now coaching his younger sibling and had a conundrum after booking a family getaway to Ibiza that clashed with the finals weekend in SW19.

Neal revealed on Thursday that Ken was contemplating staying at the tournament for as long as he and partner Wesley Koolhof were in it but headed home after their 7-5, 6-4 semi-final win over Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden.

He will now provide tactical analysis on their final opponents Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos from the Balearic Islands.

“He has just left,” Neal said of his brother. “His flight is 5am in the morning so he is driving back now and has a 2.30am taxi to the airport so he won’t be here.

“I’m perfectly fine with it, I knew the situation well in advance. He will be on the phone and doing all the homework tomorrow. We are a very good team together so I don’t think it will affect us.

“He has been waiting for this holiday for a couple of years now, Covid pushed it back a little bit, they changed the date twice.

“He doesn’t get to go on holiday often with his family because he is always away with me so I am not going to begrudge him a holiday with his kids. It is just one of those things.”

Skupski is going for a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles after winning the 2021 and 2022 mixed doubles crown.

Winning the men’s would mean more to him and he would become the first Briton to do so since fellow Liverpudlian Jonny Marray did it in 2012.

“It is always nice to have a Brit at the end of the tournament at Wimbledon, luckily it’s been myself over the last couple of years in the mixed doubles,” he said.

“This is the one we want, this is the pinnacle achievement if we are able to get over the line.

“It’s not easy to win a grand slam. It will be nice to have another Liverpool fan win Wimbledon.

“I saw Jonny earlier and asked him if he had any tips for me going into the semi-final. He didn’t give me any, he just laughed and said, ‘You’re number one, you’ll be fine’. So those are the words of wisdom he had for me.

“It is not easy to get over the line. We played US Open final last year and hopefully we can take some experience from that. We are looking forward to it, it’s a chance to get our first grand slam together. We’ll embrace the pressure.”

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