Jamie Murray and John Peers win doubles title in Gstaad, Ward Wins Lexington Challenger

By Phil James

Jamie Murray/John Peers (3) def Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4

Jamie Murray won his second ATP doubles title of the year, winning the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad in Switzerland with John Peers today.

Third-seeded Murray, from Dunblane in Scotland, and his Australian partner beat Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4 in the final of this ATP250 clay-court tournament.

Murray and Peers only started playing together in February this year, but have a 16-10 match record together including a win over the Bryan brothers for their first title together in April at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston.

The pair also won the Aegon Trophy Challenger tournament in Nottingham in June.

Their victory kicked off what will hopefully be a very successful day for the Brits today, as tonight Colin Fleming and Jonny Marray play in the BB&T Atlanta Open final, while James Ward plays in a Challenger final in Lexington.

The Spanish pair of Andujar and Garcia-Lopez, both singles specialists ranked 50th and 78th respectively, had already beaten the fourth seeds en route to the final.

But on the day they were no match for the doubles specialists losing in 56 minutes to a single break in either set.

Murray and Peers dominated on serve throughout, dropping just six points on serve all match.

So when a Garcia-Lopez double fault at 15-40 put the Commonwealth duo a set and 2-1 up with a break, there was little doubt as to the end result.

Murray and Peers take the title having not dropped a set all tournament, though they were helped by a walkover in the quarter-finals.

It was Murray’s ninth career men’s doubles title on the ATP World Tour, from a total of 14 finals while Peers is two wins from two finals.

The 250 rankings points for Murray and Peers (ranked 63rd and 55th respectively) will bump them both up individually and in the doubles team race to the World Tour Finals in London.

Jamie’s brother Andy, following the British action today, was not to be disappointed as James Ward made it two from two for the Brits today.

Ward was up against Australia’s James Duckworth in the final of the Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships Challenger in Lexington.

Ward was technically the underdog, ranked 72 places below his sixth seeded opponent in the rankings, though the Londoner had already beaten the second and seventh seeds en route to the final.

His run this week has been helped by his excellent serving  but Ward was broken in the opening game of the first set.

Duckworth then saved two break points to consolidate the break and the rest of the set went with serve to put the Australian a set up.

There had been a dearth of break opportunities after the opening exchange but Ward was the first to make inroads in the second set and broke for a 3-1 lead.

Ward was able to serve out from there, and his fist pump at the end of the second set was in stark contrast to his frustration and smashed racket at the end of the first.

The Londoner soon moved into a commanding position when, at 1-1 in the deciding set, he turned 30-0 into 30-40 and though he missed his first break point, took a second with a thundering return.

Duckworth, five years Ward’s junior, was getting frustrated himself now as Ward was winning over 70% of points on his first serve, and over 60% even on his second.

Though the Aussie did force a deuce on Ward’s serve at 4-3, he could not generate a break point and the Brit held on to claim his first Challenger title for almost two years, and the third of his career.

Ward obviously enjoys the hard courts of Lexington, going one better today than his runner-up result in July 2011.

That final defeat came just two weeks before his last Challenger title at the Vancouver Open, which is where Ward heads now, as a Special Exempt entrant and drawn against a qualifier in round one.

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