By Glenys Furness

  • Dom Inglot with Raven Klaasen make the final in s-Hertogenbosch
  • Colin Fleming & Jonathan Erlich lose in the first round

S’HERTOGENBOSCH, NETHERLANDS – Dom Inglot & Raven Klaasen made the final of the first ATP 250 grass court event of the year.

Dom Inglot teamed up with Klaasen as his regular partner Robert Lindstedt was injured before the French Open. Lindstedt and Inglot would not have got into the event together, so Lindstedt went and played in Stuttgart.

Inglot & Klaasen were seeded third and drew the Dutch team of Wesley Koolhof & Matwe Middelkoop. The Brit/South African pairing took a little time to get going and dropped the first set to the Dutch.

The second set saw Inglot & Klaasen start to play better together, and as a result secured the set to level up the match. A match tiebreak would be required to decide the winners and the Brit/South African edged the breaker to win 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.

The quarter final pitted  Inglot & Klaasen against the Swedish pair of Johan Brunstrom & Andreas Siljestrom. The seeds had very little trouble dispatching their opponents, and took the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.

In the semi final the Brit/South African played Gilles Muller & Frederik Nielsen. The match was a very tight affair, with the seeds taking the first set on a tiebreak. Muller & Nielsen fought back and dominated the second set with Inglot & Klaasen dropping serve several times.

The Luxembourg/Danish pair levelled up so once again a match tiebreak would be required. Inglot & Klaasen once again edged the break to book their slot in the final 7-6(6), 1-6, 10-8.

The final had Inglot & Klaasen against Mate Pavic & Michael Venus. The Brit/South African started well and took the first set breaking their opponents serve. The Croatian/New Zealand pairing fought back in the second set and managed to grab a break of serve of their own to level up the final.

Fittingly a match tiebreak would be required to name the champions. This was a very tight affair with Pavic & Venus eventually edging it to take the match 3-6, 6-3, 11-9.

Colin Fleming playing with Jonathan Erlich drew Pavic & Venus in the first round. The first set was competitive with the Brit/Israeli pairing forcing a tiebreak which they won.

Pavic & Venus fought back in the next set and broke Fleming & Erlich to level up the match at one set all. In the match tiebreak, Fleming & Erlich played very well, keeping it tight. However, the Croatian/New Zealand pairing edged the breaker to take the match 6-7(5), 6-3, 14-12.

In Stuttgart James Ward was trying to qualify for the 250 event instead of playing a grass challenger. In the first round of qualifying Ward was against Jan Hernych. The Brit seeded seventh in qualifying needed a tiebreak in the first set to take the lead.

The second set seemed to be heading in the same direction, with both players refusing to drop serve. However, at the vital moment the Brit broke the Czech player to progress to the final qualifying round in straight sets 7-6(6), 7-5.

Unfortunately for Ward in the final round he had to play Radek Stepanek. Always a tricky opponent, Stepanek took Andy Murray to five sets on the clay in Roland Garros coming within two points of scoring an early upset and putting out the World No. 2. In a rain interrupted match, the Brit found himself struggling against this Czech player losing in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.

Moving to the WTA side and in Nottingham Freya Christie & Laura Robson teamed up together for the doubles. Unfortunately for the Brits they drew the experienced doubles pairing of Karolina & Kristyna Pliskova.

The match overall was very close, with the Brits taking the first set on the tiebreak. The Pliskova sisters fought back in the second and broke the Brits serve. Another very tight match tiebreak would decide the victors, with the Pliskova sisters edging it to seal the win 6-7(2), 6-4, 12-10.

Jocelyn Rae & Anna Smith drew Alla Kudryavtseva & Lin Zhu in the first round. The Russian/Chinese pair took the first set as they broke the Brits serve.

Rae & Smith fought back in the second to break Kudryavtseva & Zhu to level up the match. Once again a match tiebreak would settle things and the Russian/Chinese came out on top to take the match 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.

Naomi Broady teamed up with Anastasija Sevastova and took on Shuko Aoyama & Renata Voracova in the first round. The Brit/Latvian started slowly and were broken by the Japanese/Czech team meaning they dropped the first set.

However, the second saw Broady & Sevastova playing better and had soon managed to level the match. Another match tiebreak would be required, with the Brit/Latvian edging the breaker to move into the quarter finals 3-6, 6-3, 11-9

In the quarter final Broady & Sevastova were against the second seeds Yifan Xu & Saisai Zheng. Just like the first round the Brit/Latvian didn’t start well and were broken by the seeds who took the first set.

The second set was closer, with neither side giving an inch, eventually Broady & Sevastova broke the Chinese pairing and the match was level. In the match tiebreak, Broady & Sevastova came out on top to reach the semi final 2-6, 7-5, 10-6.

In the semi final the Brit/Latvian were up against the fourth seeds. Gabriela Dabrowski & Xhaoxuan Yang proved too strong for Broady & Sevastova and took the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to bring their run to an end.

In the qualifying rounds in Birmingham several Brits are involved. Harriet Dart faced Anna Tatishvili in the first round. Dart fought all the way but ultimately the American proved too strong for the Brit, taking the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Katie Boulter took on Tsvetana Prionkova in the first round, the Belarusian lost just three games as she dominated the match taking it in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.

Robson was aiming for her first top 100 scalp in the first round. Playing against Varvara Lepchenko the Brit was in fine form. Having previously struggled to return to the game after wrist surgery, Robson wasted no time in getting a break of serve to take the first set.

This seemed to spur the Brit on, as the American was just unable to do anything at all against her in the second set, with Robson dominating to take the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. Unfortunately the Brit lost the next match against Katerina Siniakova in straight sets 1-6, 3-6 so fell at the final hurdle.

Jodie Burrage faced Vania King in the first round of qualifying. The American was pushed hard by the Brit, King eventually broke serve in each set to take the match 7-5, 6-4.

Over on the ATP Challenger circuit and the qualifying event in Surbiton, the Brits did not go well. Only Jonny O’Mara made it to the main draw, and did so without dropping a set.

Neil Pauffley won his first round against fellow Brit Louis Newman for the loss of only two games 6-1, 6-1. The Brit then ran into the top seed Marius Copil who beat him in straight sets 4-6,2-6.

Joe Salisbury played fellow Brit Marcus Walters in the first round, Salisbury won this easily dropping only three games 6-2, 6-1.

In the second round Salisbury faced the seventh seed Daniel Smethurst who had received a first round bye. Salisbury took the first set before the seed hit back and took the remaining two sets to progress 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Smethurst then took on the top seed Copil. The top seed took the first set dominating the tiebreak, before the Brit managed to level the match taking the second set. Ultimately Copil showed his ranking by taking the final set 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.

Alastair Gray received a wildcard into qualifying and also a bye into the second round. Unfortunately this is where his event ended as he played the second seed Marinko Matosevic. The Brit won two games as the seed dominated the match and won 6-2, 6-0.

Alexis Canter also had a bye into the second round and played the sixth seed Bradley Mousely. The Brit won three games as he was dominated by the seed who took the match 6-3, 6-0.

Max Benaim played against Michal Przysiezny the third seed. The Brit fought well but unfortunately it was not to be as the Pole secured the match 6-3, 6-4.

Jack Molloy faced Adrien Bossel the fifth seed. The Brit played well but the Swiss proved to be just too good for Molloy and took the match 6-4, 6-2.

Michael Morphy played David O’Hare in the first round, the Irishman took the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Joshua Milton had a bye in the first round and faced O’Hare in the second round. The Brit seeded fourth took the match to the Irishman and won in straight sets 7-5,6-3.

Milton then faced O’Mara in the final qualifying round and lost 4-6, 2-6.

In the main draw the top seed was Dan Evans. The Brit won his first match against Alexander Sarkissian 6-2, 6-4, but then lost the next round against the qualifier Copil 4-6, 2-6.

Milton had made the main draw as a Lucky Loser, and played Copil in the first round. The Brit was not able to get the win and lost 4-6, 2-6.

Lloyd Glasspool on a wildcard played fourth seed Bjorn Fratangelo and lost in straight sets, although managed to force a tiebreak in the second 6-2, 7-6(4)

O’Mara played Zhe Li in the first round, continuing his form from qualifying the Brit took the match to the Chinese player and secured the win in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

His run was ended when he played Fratangelo and lost in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

Alexander Ward faced the seventh seed Di Wu, and also lost in straight sets. The Brit did manage to force a tiebreak in the second set but ultimately lost 6-1, 7-6(5).

Liam Broady was up against the sixth seed Tim Smyczek. The Brit lost the first set but then dominated the next one and the tiebreak in the third to take the match 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(2). Broady then faced Australian Luke Saville in the next round. The Brit secured the first set, before losing the next two, Saville won the match 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5).

Ed Corrie played Aldin Setkic in the first round, and won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. However, he then ran into fifth seed and champion in Manchester Dustin Brown. The German dispatched Corrie in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

Brydan Klein faced John-Patrick Smith in the first round and the Australian took the match in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

In the doubles the best performers in Surbiton were Neal & Ken Skupski. As top seeds, they progressed to the final without dropping a set. The Skupski brothers took out a lot of Brits along the way to the final.

First up were the wildcard pairing of Smethurst & Milton, the Skupski brothers needed a tiebreak in the first set before breaking in the second 7-6(6), 6-4.

Luke Bambridge & Salisbury had won their first round match against O’Hare & Smith 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-5 before they faced the top seeds.

Just like the first round match the Skupski brothers needed a tiebreak, but this time in the second set as they took the match 6-4, 7-6(5).

Jonny Marray playing with Adil Shamasdin were third seeds. They were handed a walkover into the second round, where they played Brown & Yen-Hsun Lu.

The Brit/Canadian took the match in two tiebreak sets, dominating the second. 7-6(4), 7-6(0). Marray & Shamasdin then ran into the Skupski brothers and were beaten by the Brits 6-4, 6-4.

Evans & Glasspool were defeated in the first round by Brown & Lu. The Brits took the first set, before Brown & Lu fought back to force a second set tiebreak which they took to level the match. In the match tiebreak the German/Taipei pairing stormed ahead to take the win 3-6, 6-7(6), 10-5.

Klein & Ward teamed up and faced Broady & Darren Walsh. In a very up and down match it was finally closed out with a nip and tuck tie-break 2-6, 6-1, 11-9. They then had the fourth seeds Purav Raja & Divij Sharan. The Indians took the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

Qualifying in Ilkley has been disrupted by rain, so is still ongoing.

Next week Brits play in Birmingham, London, & Ilkley.

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