Wimbledon 2023: O’Mara and Nicholls miss out on a spot in the mixed doubles final
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Jonny O’Mara and Olivia Nicholls’ dream run in Wimbledon has ended in a semi-final defeat to seventh seeds Mate Pavic and Lyudmyla Kichenok, 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3.
The British wild card duo has embarked on a tournament to remember – joining forces for the mixed doubles draw where they exceeded all expectations, including their own.
Their journey began with a 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 victory over Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Kirsten Flipkens, before they edged Wesley Koolhof and Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals.
With their confidence building, they faced fifth seeds Matthew Ebden and Ellen Perez where they earned their most comprehensive victory yet after dismantling the Australian duo in straight sets, 7-5, 7-5 to book their spot in the final four.
The semi-final posed a tough challenge for the Brits, presented in the form of seventh seeds Mate Pavic and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
An opening set consisting of fine margins saw the all-British duo recover from a break down to force a tie-break. Despite being the first to locate a mini break, the Croatian, Ukrainian pair fought back to find three breaks and take the edge in the semi-final contest.
However, the momentum soon shifted into the hands of Nicholls and O’Mara who grasped a vital double break in the second. With Pavic and Kichenok clawing one back, Nicholls showcased her strength at the net and reaped the rewards of one final world-class volley to level the scoreboard to a set apiece.
Although trailing a break in the third and final set, that didn’t stop the all-British duo from enjoying every second on the court. As the Croatian former world No.1 stepped up to the mark on the second match point, he sealed the victory with an ace to put an end to the British wild card’s title hopes.
Although undoubtably feeling disappointment after being within touching distance of the final and a chance to contest the silverware, O'Mara and Nicholls leave SW19 with their heads held high and plenty to be proud of.