Dream team Patten and Heliövaara battle into Wimbledon semi-finals

Dream team Henry Patten and Harri Heliövaara marched into the Wimbledon semi-finals with a thrilling tie-break victory over the French Open champions.

The Manningtree ace, 28, and flying Finn Heliövaara battled from behind to clinch a stunning 4-6 7-6 (5) 7-6 (7) triumph against highly-rated Marcelo Arévalo and Mate Pavić to keep their improbable SW19 dream alive.

Patten had never won a match at Wimbledon heading into this year’s event but accompanied by Heliövaara, 35, now sits just two wins away from a fairytale Grand Slam title.

The dangerous duo only joined forces in April but hit it off straight away to win a maiden ATP title in Marrakesh.

Experienced Heliövaara has reached the last eight of a Grand Slam twice before but after scaling a first semi-final, hailed Patten as the perfect partner both on and off the court.

He beamed: “We’re the dream team!

“We only started in April, won our first title and thought ‘wow: this is working.’

“We get along excellently away from the court as well – that really helps, and we have very similar values in life.

“And on court we complement each other well – he has a great serve, can return well and is a big guy at the net.

“I bring the fire, spirit and experience – it’s a very good combination: I love it.”

“It feels pretty special – it was never going to be an easy match but we knew if we did and executed what we know we can, we had a chance to beat them.

“They’re a great team, have had some very good success in the last few months – but so have we”

“We believed, enjoyed the moment and it’s really special – for me, my first semi in a Grand Slam.

“And for Henry as well, he’s never been past the third round – so it’s very special in his home country.”

Patten had described Arévalo and Pavić, the fourth seeds here at the All England Club, as two of the planet’s most ‘complete’ players heading into the contest.

And that prediction looked alarmingly accurate as the Salvadorean and Croat flew into a one-set lead.

But Patten and Heliövaara rallied to take the second set to a tie-break and edge over the line with a nerve-jangling 7-5 triumph.

And after the decider also went the distance, the pairing stayed ice-cool under pressure to seize the heart-thumping contest with a stirring 10-7 victory in front of a raucous Court 12 crowd.

Patten and Heliövaara will next face reigning men’s doubles champion Neal Skupski and American partner Michael Venus in the last four.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Skupski, 34, won his maiden men’s doubles titles alongside Dutch player Wesley Koolhof last year but has returned to the All England Club alongside experienced Venus, 36, to defend his crown.

Heliövaara and Gabriela Dabrowski lost to second-seeded Venus and partner Erin Routliffe in the mixed doubles earlier this week and speaking ahead of the showdown, the Scandinavian said: “It’s another really tough opponent.

“I played Venus in the mixed doubles and he played really well – it’s another fifty-fifty match but if we fight and execte, we always have a chance.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

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