Jamie Murray wins Nottingham title over Skupski brothers

By Philip James

Jamie Murray/John Peers  def Ken Skupski/Neal Skupski 6-2, 7-6(3), 10-6

It has been a good week for Brits in the doubles, as Jamie Murray and John Peers won a British dominated Aegon Trophy final, while Kyle Edmund won the Boy’s Doubles Final at Roland Garros yesterday.

Nicola Slater also won the women’s doubles final in Nottingham on Friday to set up the British clean sweep of the Aegon Trophy doubles titles. It was an all Commonwealth final in Nottingham, as Scotland’s Murray and Australian Peers, took on the Liverpool-born Ken Skupski and his younger brother Neal. Murray and Peers started playing together in February and have forged a strong partnership, beating the Bryan brothers in Houston in April to win their first ATP World Tour title together. Neal has partnered his older brother in two futures tournaments this year, winning them both in a run which has seen the younger Skupski rise from outside the doubles top 1000 to 547th in the world. Though Ken is ranked 69th, with Neal’s relatively low ranking meant the pair needed a wild card entry to the grass-court Aegon Trophy in Nottingham, which is a Challenger Series tournament, a level above the futures. The brothers soon justified their entry though, defeating the first and fourth seeds en route to the final without dropping a set. Third-seeded Murray and Peers also progressed easily until the semis, where they faced the second seeds Rejeev Ram and Murray’s old partner, Eric Butorac, winning on a Champion’s Tie-break. At first it looked at through it might be a quick victory for the Murray and Peers in the final on Saturday as they dominated the first set, taking it by two breaks, 6-2. But it was a different story in the second as the Skupskis found their grove on serve and forced a tie-break which they took 7-3 to force a deciding Champion’s Tie-break. Murray and Peers had not faced a break point all match and that domination on serve proved to be the deciding factor as they took the breaker 10-6 and with it the match in an hour and 17 minutes.

Next on the Wimbledon warm-up schedule for Murray and Peers is the ATP250 Ageon Championship at Queens next week, while the Skupski Bros will look to repeat their success with Nottingham’s second Challenger.

The victory came a day after Slater and her partner, American Maria Sanchez, defeated Canadian pairing Gabriela Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 to take the title.

Further British success came yesterday on the red clay of Rolland Garros on Saturday, as Kyle Edmund partnered Portugal’s Frederico Ferreira Silva to the Boy’s Doubles French Open title, beating Chile’s Christian Garin and Nicolas Jarry 6-3, 6-3.