French Open: Fleming & Erlich blast into R2

By Glenys Furness

  • Colin Fleming & Jonathan Erlich def. Paul-Henri Mathieu & Benoit Paire 6-3 6-0
  • Federico Delbonis & Andres Molteni def. John Millman & Ken Skupski 6-1 7-5
  • Raquel Atawo & Abigail Spears [8] def. Johanna Konta & Maria Sanchez 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4

PARIS, FRANCE Colin Fleming & Jonathan Erlich eased into R2 as Ken Skupski and Johanna Konta failed to progress.

Fleming &  Erlich took to the court and were drawn against Paul-Henri Mathieu & Benoit Paire. The Brit/Israeli team have been playing together since 2015 and have not made major news but did manage a fantastic straight sets win over the Bryan Brothers in Sydney at the start of this year. Mostly playing on the challenger tour Fleming & Erlich have made forays onto the ATP main tour, reaching the semi finals in Bucharest.

Fleming & Erlich were impressive in the first set, wasting no time at all in obtaining a break of serve on the French. Mathieu & Paire did manage to get a break back, however the Brit/Israeli team broke again to take the first set 6-3. In the second set the French were not able to do anything with the game of Fleming & Erlich as the Brit/Israeli dominated the set. Serving up a bagel set 6-0 Fleming & Erlich wasted no time in taking the second set and the match.

Unlike Wimbledon, the doubles are played best of three sets for both genders, meaning that taking two sets is enough to see you through.

Ken Skupski split from brother Neal to enable him to enter the French Open as their ranking together was not high enough. Teaming up with the Australian John Millman the pair faced first round opposition Federico Delbonis & Andres Molteni. The Argentines were too strong in the first set for the scratch doubles pairing, dominating the set 6-1.

However, the second set proved to be closer, as Skupski & Millman began to play better. The Brit/Aussie pair stayed close to the Argentines until the 11th game when eventually they dropped serve. Unfortunately, this was the only chance Delbonis & Molteni needed progressing to the next round 7-5.

Johanna Konta teamed up with Maria Sanchez for the doubles. Unfortunately their first round opponents were the eighth seeds Raquel Atawo & Abigail Spears. The Brit/American pair kept the first set close, taking it all the way to a tiebreak. In the breaker Konta & Sanchez dominated to take a lead in the match 7-3.

The next two sets were close, with the ladies exchanging breaks of serve. Unfortunately Atawo & Spears secured the extra break of serve to take the final sets 6-4, 6-4 and ending Konta’s French Open challenge for this year.

Play continues tomorrow from 10am BST