Delgado and Skupski lose Challenger final; Murray faces their conquerors in Marseille

By Philip James

Brunstrom/Klassen (2) 3-6 6-2 10-3 Delgado/Skupski(1)

The all British team of Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski lost to Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klaasen in the final of the Open BNP Paribas in Quimper, France today.

The Swedish-South African pairing, who were seeded second, narrowly lost in the final of the ATP 250 Open Sud de France in Montpellier last week but today went one better, winning the match in just over an hour.

Top seeds Delgado and Skupski served impressively in the first set which they took 6-4 with a single break.

But they could maintain the level under increasing pressure from their in-form opponents who bounced back to take the second set 6-2, with two breaks and dropping only four points on serve.

Brunstrom and Klassen carried their form and momentum into the Champion’s Tie-break, winning it 10-3 and with it the Challenger tour Open BNP Paribas title.

Skupski and Delgado now return to the main tour and head to Marseille for the ATP 250 Open 13 tournament before Delgado takes a break from the tour to have treatment for a long standing back injury.

They face a challenging first round match against Pole Jerzy Janowicz and Dane Frederik Nielsen, who won Wimbledon last year playing the Britain’s Jonathan Marray.

Joining them in the men’s doubles draw in Marseille are Jamie Murray, again partnering Australian John Peers, and Colin Fleming, who teams up with India’s Rohan Bopanna.

Marray, Fleming’s partner for the last two tournaments, does not play after he was injured during their match in Rotterdam last week.

Fleming and Marray were a set and a break up when they had to retire from their match against eventual champions Robert Lindstedt and Nenad Zimonjic.

Fleming and Bopanna, are seeded second and play the Dutch-Belgian team of Robin Hasse and Dick Norman.

Murray and Peers face a tough first round tie against the team who beat Delgado and Skupski for the title in Quimper, Brunstrom and Klaasen.