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Former Tigers compete at Wimbledon

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 7:02 pm

Former LSU tennis players Ken Skupski, Neal Skupski and Michael Venus competed at the 2014 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Doubles Championships at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.

Their appearances in the tournament marked the first time three players represented LSU at Wimbledon simultaneously.

The English-born Skupski brothers competed together while New Zealand native Venus played alongside American Bradley Klahn.

Ken made his Wimbledon debut in 2008 and has clinched second-round berths in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

The Skupskis fell to Germans Dustin Brown and Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round (7-5), 3-6, 4-6, 2-6. Likewise for Venus, he and Klahn lost their first match in four sets 5-7, 6-7, (6-4), 0-6 to the American pair of Austin Krajicek and Donald Young.

Despite the opening round exit, Ken said it was exciting to have another opportunity to compete at Wimbledon and to play with Neal.

“Competing at Wimbledon is always special no matter how many times you play,” Skupski said. “This year was extra special as it had significance for our family. Not many brothers ever get the opportunity to play on the hallowed turf, and even though the result didn’t go our way, it was a special day and one we look to improve on next year.”

The Skupskis are ranked 67th in the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour Doubles Rankings. This year was the debut Wimbledon showing for Neal and the 69th-ranked Venus.

Neal went from being the lowest-ranked player in world tennis to placing in the top 70. Ken further discussed his brother’s progression and how this experience will benefit him moving forward.

“It’s been an amazing year for us,” Skupski said. “[Neal] is a quick learner and hopefully we can move forward and keep rising up the rankings over the next months leading up to the U.S. Open in August.”

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