Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany won the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon on Sunday by beating top-seeded Leander Paes of India and Cara Black of Zimbabwe 7-5, 6-3.
Knowles and Groenefeld, who converted four of their 10 break points and finished the match with 20 winners, trailed 5-2 in the first set.
“I actually said to Anna on the changeover, ‘Let’s stay positive,’” Knowles said. “We had lost a couple of close games really. We were playing pretty well.”
Whatever was said, it worked because Knowles and Groenefeld won the next five games to take the first set.
“I think that attitude helped us turn it around,” Knowles said. “We obviously won six or seven or eight games on the trot. I think things started going our way.”
Knowles has won men’s doubles titles at the other three Grand Slam tournaments, but he had never before won at Wimbledon.
“I’ve always wanted to win Wimbledon. It’s the most important tournament in my mind,” Knowles said. “Like everybody, it’s the tournament we all look up to. It’s extremely special.”
The match was played on Centre Court at the All England Club, but the four players had to wait for Roger Federer to complete his 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 win over Andy Roddick in the men’s final — a match that went a Grand Slam record 77 games.
“We were waiting and waiting,” Groenefeld said. “But, yeah, you never know when it’s going to happen, when it’s finished, the match before. But you’re always ready.”
Many of those who watched Federer win his record-breaking 15th Grand Slam title stayed to watch the mixed doubles.
“I wasn’t expecting that many people to be there,” Knowles said. “Obviously after such a thrilling encounter in the men’s singles, it’s pretty tough to follow that.”