Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, the No.4 seeds, continued their remarkable success on grass by defeating the No.1 seeds, Henri Kontinen and John Peers, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2, 4-6, 9-7 and celebrated reaching the final of the gentlemen’s doubles in crowd-pleasing style.
After Melo had won the final point at the net and the players had shaken hands, Kubot showed off the can-can high-kicking routine that has become something of a trademark, taking him from one side of the court to the other.
Melo chose a more sedate way of marking his second appearance in a Wimbledon doubles final by going down on his knees to kiss the grass on No.1 Court. Melo made the final four years ago alongside Ivan Dodig and will be hoping to lift the title this time when he and Kubot face Austrian Oliver Marach and Croatia's Mate Pavic, who beat the Croatian pair of Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4), 3-6, 17-15.
Not surprisingly, Marach and Pavic, the No.16 seeds, both collapsed onto the grass before hugging each other in wild celebration after a match lasting four hours and 32 minutes.
Melo and Kubot came into Wimbledon having won the s’-Hertogenbosch and Halle titles on grass and this confidence powered them past the reigning Australian Open champions.
Kontinen and Peers played their part in making it a match to remember and both pairs were given a loud ovation from the fans after a high-quality contest that lasted three hours and 32 minutes.
This is Kubot’s most successful Wimbledon doubles run, although he is also a former Australian Open champion. With Melo, he forms a “thirtysomething” team who will be favourites to take a third grass court title.
Melo and Kubot opted for very different changeover routines. Melo, from Brazil, sat on a pile of Wimbledon towels to ensure his large frame was more elevated while Kubot never sat down, preferring to drink and eat his bananas standing up.
It worked because they took the first set after 31 minutes, but lost the second on a tie-break. Melo and Kubot took the third set 6-2 and looked to have the momentum for victory. However, Kontinen and Peers refused to buckle and broke Kubot in the seventh game of the fourth set and won it 6-4 by refusing to offer their opponents any break points during the set.
It came down to a deciding fifth set and an extremely tight battle that eventually went the way of Kubot and Melo after they broke Kontinen in the 16th game.
On No.2 Court, the fifth set lasted 117 minutes before finishing 17-15 in favour of Marach and Pavic. The latter slipped under the net early in the fifth set and applied a bag of ice to his left hand at the next change of ends, but it did not appear to hamper his game.
It was a match to test the fitness of all four players and the crucial break of serve came in the 32nd and final game, when Mektic and Skugor made a couple of unforced errors which allowed their opponents to exert just enough pressure to clinch victory.