By Glenys Furness
- Anna Smith & Nicole Melichar claim first tour title together
- Edged title, as the seeds fell early.
NURNBERG, GERMANY – Anna Smith & Nicole Melichar claim their first tour title together. The seeds fell early on the top side of the draw, leaving the title wide open.
After the recent split with Jocelyn Rae, her partner for three years on the circuit, Anna Smith teamed up with Nicole Melichar. Rae & Smith won their last title together in February in Glasgow on the ITF circuit. They never won a WTA title but were runner up three times.
In Germany Smith & Melichar faced Varvara Lepchenko & Evgeniya Rodina in the first round. Lepchenko & Rodina were in the main draw as alternates. The Brit/American had little trouble in the first set and were soon in control, breaking when needed to seal the first set.
The second set did not go as planned however, as the Brit/American fought hard to win the match in straight sets. Lepchenko & Rodina were not going to go quietly though and surprised Smith & Melichar with a break of serve right at the end to level everything up. This meant that a match tiebreak would be needed for the place in the quarter final. The Brit/American managed to edge this breaker to book their place in the next round. 6-3, 5-7, 12-10
In the quarter final Smith & Melichar were up against Alexandra Cadantu & Nicola Geuer. The Romanian/German pairing were no match for the Brit/American. Smith & Melichar strolled into the Semi final for the loss of only two games. It was more of a practice than a match. 6-0, 6-2.
The semi final was due to see the Brit/American play Chia-Jung Chuang & Misaki Doi who had defeated the top seeds in the first round. However, the Chinese Taipei/Japanese team withdrew, giving Smith & Melichar a walk over into the final.
In the final the Brit/American were faced with Kirsten Flipkens & Johanna Larsson. Smith has played with Larsson before back in 2008 so had insight into the Swedish players game. The first set didn’t show this however, as Flipkens & Larsson stole a march to grab the first set. Smith & Melichar turned it round in the second as they levelled up the match. The title would be settled by a tiebreak. Neither team were looking to pull away at the start, however eventually the Brit/American got the lead they needed to edge their first WTA title on tour. 3-6, 6-3, 11-9.
Other doubles results
Dom Inglot & Robin Haase lost in the first round of Geneva to the second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah 6-2, 7-6(5)
Ken & Neal Skupski won the title in Mestre Challenger. As the second seeds they only dropped one set, that was in the final.
Luke Bambridge with Jarryd Chaplin lost in the first round in Mestre
Next week Brits play in Paris at Roland Garros
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