Wildcard permitting, Delhi gold medallists in the tennis mixed doubles, Jocelyn Rae and Colin Fleming will be back on court together for only their second ever tournament, when play gets underway at Wimbledon next week.
Their journey started in the sweltering heat of Delhi, where tennis was making its Games debut. Colin and Jocelyn had taken the tournament by storm, beating the hosts and second seeds India and fourth seeds England in the semi-finals, on the way to clinching gold in a nail biting final that had all the Scottish supporters on the edge of their seats.
The unseeded Scottish pair, who had never played together before the Games, completed a truly remarkable fight-back in the final to beat the Australian top seeds Paul Hanley and Anastasia Rodionova 7-6 6-7 6-2. As the clock read one minute to midnight in the RK Khanna stadium, they become the first ever mixed doubles tennis champions in Commonwealth Games competition, their outstanding achievement securing Scotland’s third gold medal of the Games.
2010 started well for Joss in Eliat, Israel in February, where she and Heather Watson defeated world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and her partner to secure Great Britain’s place in Fed Cup Europe/Africa Group I, before succumbing to a stress fracture in her foot.
Next week it is back to the genteel lawns of SW19, where the 6ft 2in, blonde English-born Scot will attempt to consolidate her growing stature on the UK scene. The 20-year-old and her partner Watson – who took the scalp of No.2 seeded pair Cara Black and defeated Commonwealth Games mixed doubles finalist Anastasia Rodionova at Nottingham last week – have been granted a wild card in the women’s doubles. The plan thereafter is that Rae and Fleming will reprise their Commonwealth Games roles in an all-Scottish mixed doubles team at the All England Club. Rae is looking forward to the reunion in a slightly more salubrious environment, although she wouldn’t have changed her Commonwealth Games experience for the world.
Speaking recently with The Herald she said: “I am really looking forward to getting out there,” Rae said. “Wimbledon is the best tournament in the world and just stepping out there and playing against the best in the world is something I aspire to do on a regular basis.
“Obviously there were loads of bugs in Delhi and they were all in your face and stuff but I loved every second of the experience and winning the gold medal just topped it all off,” she said.
“Colin and I are hoping to play in the mixed doubles, but the way it works that you sign in just a day or two before and the wild cards get allocated after that. So fingers crossed we will get one and the team that performed at the Commonwealth Games can get back together again. The atmosphere will be a bit different, but I am sure it will be the kind of thing me and Colin will really enjoy.”