Colin Fleming and Joss Rae, Team Scotland’s only remaining tennis players, pulled off the shock of the tournament tonight (Thursday) when they beat home favourites and second seeds Leander Paes and Sania Mirza to reach the semi finals of the mixed doubles in the inaugural tennis event at the Commonwealth Games.
In the last match on the packed 5000 capacity Centre Court, Fleming and Rae silenced the partisan home crowd. They won 6-4 6-4 and in the process guaranteed themselves at least two more matches and a chance of a medal, a remarkable achievement for two players who had never played mixed doubles together before the start of the Games.
After the match, a delighted Rae said: “That was amazing. It’s the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in and even though it was a bit intimidating we both got a real buzz from it and ended up thriving off it.
“The match tonight is only the second match I’ve ever played with Colin and I haven’t played much mixed doubles recently but we played really well together – in fact it’s the best I’ve ever played and it’s such a satisfying feeling.
“We have a semi final tomorrow against an English couple who we both know well and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Fleming agreed, saying: “The atmosphere on court really helped us today. It was just great fun playing in it and we both played really well.
“We know the guys we’re playing tomorrow pretty well and it should be a good match. We’ll definitely be gunning for it.”
Pete Nicholson, tennis Team Leader, was just as delighted as the players. Commenting after the match he said:
“This really was an astonishing victory for our guys over two very good Indian players who were playing in front of their home crowd. Both Colin and Joss raised their game unbelievably well – they hardly missed a ball all night!
“The atmosphere on court was electric and there was a huge amount of pressure but they stuck to their task and closed match out in style.”
They play England’s fourth seeds Ross Hutchins and Anna Smith in the semi finals on Friday in the second match in the evening session on Centre Court, which is due to start at 1700hrs. The winners of the match will progress to the final to contest the gold and silver medals whilst the runners up will face a bronze medal play-off against the other losing semi finalists.