Marray & Bhupathi edged in Montpellier

By Glenys Furness

  • Jonathan Marray & Mahesh Bhupathi reached the Montpellier Semi Final
  • Neal & Ken Skupski knocked out in the first round
  • Colin Fleming & Jonathan Erlich made the quarter finals

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE –  Jonathan Marray and Mahesh Bhupathi were the highest placed British interest pairing in ATP 250 Montpellier doubles, where there were mixed results for the rest.

Marray & Bhupathi had entered ATP 250 Montpellier with a protected ranking. The Brit/Indian pairing with a combined age of 75 faced another protected ranking pairing of Tomasz Bednarek & Denis Istomin. The Polish/Uzbekistan pair could not make any impression on the Brit/Indian serve in the first set, as Marray & Bhupathi broke first to take the first set 6-3. In the second set Bednarek & Istomin were playing better and finally managed to break serve to level up the match by taking the set 6-3. So it would be a match tiebreak to decide the winners, first to 10 points with two points clear. The Brit/Indian pair made the most of the opportunity taking the match 10-6 in the final set.

The quarter final saw Marray & Bhupathi face the top seeds of Lukasz Kabot & Marcin Matkowski. In the first set both teams exchanged breaks of serve and the set went to a tiebreak. The Brit/Indian pair dominated the breaker taking it 7-2. The second set saw the Poles unable to do anything with the game of the Brit/Indian pairing and the top seeds found themselves in trouble. Marray & Bhupathi took the set easily to move into the Semi final.

In the semi final the Brit/Indian pair found themselves against Alexander & Mischa Zverev. The brothers from Germany found themselves struggling in the first set against Marray & Bhupathi who took the lead 6-2. The second set saw the Zverev brothers playing better and soon levelled up the match 6-2. Once again it would be a match tiebreak to settle the winners. The Germans soon raced out to a lead that the Brit/Indian team were unable to come back from, eventually going down 10-3.

Ken & Neal Skupski had the misfortune to draw the Zverev brothers in the first round. Both teams of brothers exchanged breaks in the first set, as the Germans took the set 6-4, the second set was much closer as the Brits and Germans fought to a tiebreak. The breaker itself was also very close with the Germans eventually winning 8-6.

Colin Fleming & Jonathan Erlich were seeded fourth in Montpellier and in the first round drew the Croatian team of Marin Cilic & Nikola Mektic. Fleming & Erlich dominated the first set as they served up a breadstick to the Croatians. The second set was a bit closer as the fourth seeds too three breaks of serve to defeat Cilic & Mektic 6-3.  In the quarter final the Brit/Israeli pairing were due to face Andrea Arnaboldi & Marc Lopez, but Fleming & Erlich pulled out and handed a walk over to their opponents

Play continues in Montpellier 11am GMT 7th February


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