Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski wear black armbands for Queen in the US Open final

Britain’s doubles stars Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski plan to wear black armbands in honor of the Queen for their US Open final later on Friday.

The pair will be on opposite sides of the net, with Salisbury teaming up with American Rajeev Ram to successfully defend his title, while Skupski reaches the inaugural Grand Slam final in men’s doubles with Dutchman Wesley Koolhof.

Salisbury and Ram were midway through the semifinals against Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah when news of the monarch’s death broke.

Salisbury said: “I saw when we came off the pitch. Obviously it’s very sad news, but also a bit shocking. It seems pretty sudden. She was obviously the queen for pretty much everyone’s entire life. In any case, we want to do something tomorrow during the game.”

Skupski and Koolhof’s clashes with Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer came after and the Liverpool native followed developments while he waited.

He said: “On the way here we saw the doctors say she was in trouble and we saw the whole family go to Balmoral and it didn’t seem like it was very good news. Then we watched Joe’s match and it came up on CNN that the Queen had died.

“Obviously it’s very sad to see and it’s terrible for the country and the royal family. What she has done for the country and the world for so many decades is incredible.

“I spoke to Joe in the dressing room and we’ll try to do something for them tomorrow and show our respect.”

It is the second year in a row that there is a guaranteed British winner after Salisbury and Ram defeated Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 12 months ago, while either Salisbury or Skupski will finish the competition as world number one.

Thursday’s match between Salisbury and Ram was a thrill, with the top seeds winning 7-5 4-6 7-6 (6) to go on to a joint third Grand Slam title.

New York, and particularly the Queens area where Flushing Meadows is located, has a large South American population and Colombian fans flocked to cheer on Cabal and Farah.

Salisbury and Ram looked in deep trouble as the former long-pressed a forehand volley to drop serve in the deciding set 5-5, but he made up for it with two superb lobs to break straight back and she were rock solid in the tiebreak.

Salisbury said: “It was quite epic. Lots of ups and downs. We’re just so happy with how we persevered there. Really happy to be in the final.



It was like a Davis Cup game, a football game. Of course it can be a bit annoying and frustrating at times, but it was a fun atmosphere to play in

Joe Salisbury

“We knew there would be a lot of Colombians there, but I think it was more than we expected. It was like a Davis Cup game, a football game. Of course it can be a bit annoying and frustrating at times, but it was a fun atmosphere to play in.”

Skupski and Koolhof have already won six titles this season but had come up short in the Slams, so a 6-4, 7-5 win over Arevalo and Rojer was a big moment.

Skupski said: “It’s an incredible achievement for me. I’m not satisfied yet, I want to go all the way and win the trophy with Wes. It’s an interesting match with world number one on the line.

“It’s going to be a great game. Nice to have two Brits in the final like last year. Hopefully it’s the other Brit who wins this year.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/neal-skupski-joe-salisbury-us-open-queens-ram-b2163394.html Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski wear black armbands for Queen in the US Open final

Fry Electronics Team

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