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

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

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

British doubles stars Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski plan to wear black armbands in homage to Queen for the US Open final later on Friday.

The pair will be on opposite sides of the net, with Salisbury paired with American Rajeev Ram as they try to successfully defend their title while Skupski is through the first Grand Slam final in the men’s doubles with Dutchman Wesley Koolhof.

Salisbury and Ram were in the middle of the semi-final against Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah when news of the monarch’s death was announced.

Salisbury said: “I saw when we left the field. Obviously this is extremely sad news, even a bit shocking. It seems quite sudden. She obviously she has been the queen for most of everyone’s life. We would certainly like to do something during tomorrow’s match ”.

Skupski and Koolhof’s clash with Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer came later, and the Liverpudlian followed the developments while they waited.

He said: “On the way we saw the doctors saying he was in trouble and we saw the whole family go to Balmoral and it seemed like it wasn’t good news. Then we were watching Joe’s game and it appeared on CNN that the queen was dead.

“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 is incredible for so many decades.

“I talked to Joe in the locker room and we will try to do something for her tomorrow and show her our respect.”

It is the second year in a row that there is sure to be a British winner after Salisbury and Ram defeated Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 12 months ago, while Salisbury or Skupski will close the race as world number one.

The Salisbury and Ram game on Thursday was compelling, with the seeded winning 7-5 4-6 7-6 (6) to go along with a third Grand Slam title win.

New York, and in particular the Queens area where Flushing Meadows is located, has a large South American population and Colombian fans were in force to cheer Cabal and Farah.

Salisbury and Ram looked in big trouble when the former pushed a long forehand volley to drop serve at 5-5 in the deciding set, but made amends with two excellent lobs to break right away and they were rock solid. in the tie-break.

Salisbury said: “It was pretty epic. Lots of ups and downs. We are so happy with how we stayed in there. Really happy to be in the final.

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 soccer game. Obviously 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 they haven’t been up to the Grand Slams, so a 6-4 7-5 win over Arevalo and Rojer was a great moment.

Skupski said: “For me it is an incredible result. I’m still not satisfied, I want to go all the way and collect the trophy with Wes. It’s an interesting match with the world number one at stake.

“It will be a great match. Nice to have two Englishmen in the final like last year. Hopefully the different Briton will win this year. “

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