Neal Skupski takes Aptos Challenger doubles title

 

By Glenys Furness

  • Neal Skupski takes Challenger title without brother Ken
  • Jonathan Erlich & Skupski were seeded third

APTOS, CALIFORNIA, USA – Neal Skupski claims doubles title without brother Ken, Israeli Jonathan Erlich partnered the Brit, seeded third.

 

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Neal Skupski teamed up at the Aptos Challenger in California with Jonathan Erlich as Ken Skupski remained in Britain. The Brit/Israeli pairing were seeded three and in the first round they drew the only other pairing involving a Brit. Luke Bambridge & David O’Hare were a wildcard pairing in the event, in the first set the third seeds secured the break early and Bambridge & O’Hare could not strike back. The second set was much easier for Skupski & Erlich as they only lost two games to move forward 6-3, 6-2.

The quarter final had the Brit/Israeli against the qualifiers Jason Jung & Darian King. Skupski and Erlich didn’t get the start they wanted as they were broken right at the end of the set, just as it appeared to be heading towards a tiebreak. In the second set the third seeds managed to step up their game and secured the break back, forcing a match tiebreak to decide the semi finalists. Skupski and Erlich edged the breaker though to move into the next round 5-7, 6-4, 13-11.

In the semi final the Brit/Israeli pair were up against Ruben Bemelmans & Joris De Loore, the Belgians had made the main draw as lucky losers. As such they had nothing to lose against the third seeds, and started with a tempo the seeds could not match. Once again Skupski & Erlich lost the first set after being broken early, however the second set went the way of the Brit/Israeli as they secured the break and the match headed to a tiebreak to settle who would make the final. Just like the previous round this was a very close breaker with the seeds edging the match tiebreak to get to the final 3-6, 6-4, 12-10.

The final saw the third seeds against the fourth seeds Alex Bolt & Jordan Thompson the Australians found the going tough in the first set, with the Brit/Israeli breaking to seal the set. The second set did not go the way Skupski & Erlich would have liked as the Australians broke early and levelled the match, once again it would be a match tiebreak to decide the winners. Not as tight as the others played during the event the third seeds secured the victory over the Australians 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.

 

Doubles Round Up

  • Jamie Murray with Bruno Soares lost in the second round in Montreal.
  • Johanna Konta with Elina Svitolina lost in the first round in Toronto.
  • Joe Salisbury with Johan Brunstrom lost in the first round in Portoroz.
  • Scott Clayton & Jonny O’Mara lost in the first round in Portoroz.
Next week Brits play in Cincinnati, Vancouver & Meerbusch.

 

 

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