LONDON — Despite Andy Murray's absence and the failure of any British singles players to make it to the second week, the host nation will be represented right until the end of Wimbledon.
Playing on Centre Court for the first time, young British wild cards Harriet Dart and Jay Clarke defeated 10th-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Abigail Spears 7-6 (10), 7-5 to advance to the mixed doubles semifinals.
They will face fellow-Brit Jamie Murray and Victoria Azarenka, who defeated fourth-seeded Dutch duo Jean-Julien Rojer and Demi Schuurs 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
"It's nice that the (British) fans have got that interest all the way through the tournament," said Murray, who won the mixed doubles title a year ago alongside Martina Hingis.
Clarke, 19, and Dart, 21, were asked if they could expect to have the crowd on their side on Friday, due to being a fully British team.
"Jamie's got a bit of a bigger following than we have," said Clarke, but he hopes the crowd will find another reason to get behind him and Dart. "Brits like the underdogs."
In the other semifinal, 11th-seeded Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar will take on ninth-seeded Michael Venus and Katarina Srebotnik.
Melichar and Peya received a walkover, while Venus and Srebotnik came through against third-seeded pair Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan 7-5, 3-6, 6-0.