ANDY and Jamie Murray have both been despatched from the doubles at this year’s Wimbledon but thankfully a couple of Scottish teenagers are keeping the flag flying. Jacob Fearnley, a 17-year-old from Edinburgh, and Connor Thomson, an 18-year-old from Paisley, have been playing together off and on from Under-8 level onwards, with the next step being tennis scholarships at Texas Christian University and the University of South Carolina respectively. When they held their nerve to win a thriller against Eliot Spizziri and Tyler Zink of the USA by a 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 score line yesterday, this pair also had a place in the last eight of the boys’ doubles, having stretched their unbroken winning run to a dozen matches.

This was particularly bad news for young Spizziri, who has been on the receiving end against this deadly duo for three straight weeks, a stretch which has seen this pair of States-bound Scots – playing here on a wild card - rack up back-to-back junior titles at Nottingham and Roehampton. And for one of the Scot’s coaches, who has promised to let them shave the hair off his legs if they win.

“We have played one of those boys three weeks in a row now,” said Thomson. “When we won Nottingham, we beat that boy [Elliott Spizziri] in the semi-final, then we played them in the final last week, and beat them 11-9 in the deciding tie-break. So it is a bit of a co-incidence that we beat them again, 11-9, in the third here. With the teams we have beaten, everyone knows the level we’ve got. We are trying to put Scotland on the map.”


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This was a thriller which could have gone either way down the stretch, the Stateside-bound Scots mobbed on their way off by the sizeable crowd accumulated around Court No 5. “As the match went on, more and more people were coming in,” said Fearnley. “People are wanting photos and autographs – but my signature is different every time.”

After ice baths and recovery last night, it was back to their dwellings across the corridor at the NTC i Roehampton to plot their next match, which pits them against No 3 seeds Martin Damm and Toby Kodat, also of the USA. But you would already have to go back some distance to find another all-Scottish team who have got this far.

“I can’t escape him,” joked Thomson. “We have known each other for ages, and have been really good pals the last three or four years, travelling a lot together. That helps a lot. It is not often that you spend a lot of time with someone like that and get on so well. We can talk about literally anything - if you were on the outside you would think what a couple of weirdos!”

The run is sweet for both – Fearnley was a first-round loser in the singles, while Thomson was disappointed not to receive a wild card into the main draw. “It was tough to take, although at the end of the day it is Wimbledon’s decision,” he said. “But that is all in the past now. Thankfully we have proved whoever makes the decisions here that we both deserved it.”


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Also still flying the flag for Scotland at this tournament is Gordon Reid, although he will be limited to defending his doubles crown with Alfie Hewett today after he succumbed to a surprisingly one-sided 6-1, 6-1 first round singles defeat to Japanese No 1 seed Shingo Kunieda. The 27-year-old from Helensburgh took the singles title here back in 2016 and overcame Kunieda in the semi-finals at Roland Garros, but he was comfortably second best here.

“It was disappointing,” said Reid, “a different match entirely to the one we had in France. I felt like I had prepared well, and I’d obviously come off the back of making the final at Queen’s. But it was just one of those days, I couldn’t string anything together.

“My timing was a little bit off and the courts were a little bit slower than I was expecting but it was the same for both players. It’s not the way I hoped it would be, but I just have to look positively and try to get a better result tomorrow.”