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By Glenys Furness

  • Jamie Murray exits Rome at the quarter final stage
  • Alexander Ward made second round in Seoul Challenger

ROME, ITALY Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares progressed to the quarter final of the Rome Masters, before they bumped into the former number one team.

Murray and Soares were  fourth seeds and as such also received a bye into the second round. This round saw them face Dominic Thiem from Austria and Alexander Zverev from Germany. Murray & Soares dominated the first set, taking the lead with a 6-1 breadstick set.

The second set was closer as the Austrian/German pairing pushed to a tiebreak. The seeds came through tie breaker 10-8 to book a quarter final spot.

In the quarter final the fourth seeds found themselves against the fifth seeds. Unfortunately for the Brit/Brazilian pair this was the former number one team in the world Bob & Mike Bryan.

The Americans wasted little time in taking the match over Murray & Soares. Scoring a straight sets win 6-3, 6-4 to make the semi final. The Bryan Brothers went on to win the title.

Over on the challenger trail and James Ward was in Bordeaux. His first round opponent was Steve Darcis from Belgium. The Brit won a very tight first set after going to a tie break, Ward secured the breaker 7-5.

The Brit found himself down a break in the second set, and the Belgian didn’t look back. Darcis took the remaining sets 6-4, 6-2 to end the Brits campaign.

In Seoul Challenger and Alexander Ward had progressed nicely through qualifying into the main draw. Ward, no relation to James, was the second seed and easily dispatched Chan-Yeong Oh from Korea, fellow Brit Ed Corrie and Shuichi Sekiguchi from China in straight sets.

In the first round of the main draw Ward faced Frederik Nielsen of Denmark, a fellow qualifier. The Brit dropped his first set, as the two qualifiers stayed toe to toe until the tiebreak. The Dane won the close fought breaker 7-5.

Ward took the next set easily breaking the Dane to level up the match at one set all, securing the set 6-3. Much like the first set, the final set was very close and again went to a tiebreak. This time the Brit secured the win 7-4 to make the second round.

The second round saw Ward face the top seed of John Millman from Australia. Ward lost in straight sets to the top seed 6-4 & 6-2, but then the Australian pulled out of the next round handing his opponent Lukas Lacko a walkover into the semi final.

Liam Broady had also made the main draw via qualifying. Broady as the top qualifying seed had to work harder for his spot, with the last two matches going the distance. Once in the main draw the Brit faced a wildcard Korean by the name of Soon Woo Kwon.

Broady comfortably won the first set 6-3. The Korean however, stepped things up in the next set and levelled up by taking the set 6-4. A one set shoot out would settle it. Unfortunately Broady was not able to get the win and lost the set 6-3.

Dan Evans was seeded fourth. After a great couple of tournaments, it is possible that this caught up with the Brit. Evans lost in the first round to Grega Zemljz from Slovenia. Zemljz had little trouble defeating Evans in straight sets 6-3,6-3.

Lloyd Glasspool was seeded seventh here in the qualifying. The first round match against Clay Thompson from America was not the result the Brit was looking for.

After taking the first set 6-4 Glasspool was taken to a second set tiebreak by Thompson. The American dominated the breaker as the Brit only scored one point to lose it 7-1. The final set went against the seed 6-3.

Corrie won the first round qualifying match against the wildcard Yong-Kyu Lim in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. The second round he lost spectacularly to Ward winning only two games in the match.

James Marsalek made it through the first qualifying round, after defeating Yunseong Chung from Korea. The Brit needed three sets to get into round two as the Korean took the first 6-3. Marsalek fought back to take the win, as the next two sets went his way 6-4, 6-4.

Marsalek then bumped into the third seed Matt Reid from Australia. Reid was too strong for the Brit and soon sealed the win 6-4, 6-4.

Broady & Ward teamed together for the doubles. The Brits faced the second seeds in the first round. Broady & Ward came through a very close match taking it 10-8 in the match tiebreak.

The quarter final was another tight match, with the Brits once again coming through in the match tiebreak 10-7 to book a semi final spot.

The semi final brought the old rivalry to ahead as the Brits were against Reid & John-Patrick Smith from Australia. Unfortunately the Aussies were too strong and took the match 6-3, 6-3.

In Helibronn Ken & Neal Skupski were seeded third. The first round saw the Brits facing Marcelo Arevalo from El Salvador & Franko Skugor from Croatia. The Skupski brothers unfortunately lost out in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Next week Brits are in action in Paris, Bangkok, Nice, Geneva & Strasbourg


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