Murray and Inglot reach round two in Houston, Skupski and Delgado won’t play it again Sam in Casablanca

By Philip James


Jamie Murray /John Peers def Nicholas Monroe/Simon Stadler 6-3, 1-6, 10-4

(3) Treat Huey/Dominic Inglot Def Fernando Verdasco/Mischa Zverev 6-3, 2-6, 10-5


Martin Klizan /Igor Zelenay Def Jamie Delgado/Dick Norman 6-4, 6-0

(4)Daniele Bracciali /Potito Starace Def Mikhail Elgin/Ken Skupski 6-7(4) 7-6(6) 10-8

Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot both won their opening round doubles matches in Houston this week, but Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski both lost their opening ties in Casablanca.

Due to the strength in depth that Britain has in the men’s doubles game, the four were not included in the Davis Cup team, which heroically beat Russia at the weekend.

Murray, once again partnering Australian John Peers, beat the American-German combo of Nicholas Monroe and Simon Stadler in just over an hour on Monday, 6-3, 1-6, 10-4.

Despite only making 41% of first serves, Murray and Peers held easily throughout the first set and snatched a break to take the set.

But they missed their two break opportunities in the second set while Monroe and Stadler took theirs to level the match before excellent returning from Murray and Peers won them the Champions Tie-break.

Murray, ranked 84 in the world at doubles, is looking bounce back from a disappointing first round exit at the Leon Challenger in Mexico last week when he and Peers were second seeds.

To progress any further at the ATP 250 Us Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston, he will have to defeat his old partner, Eric Butorac, who together with Jonathan Erlich are the fourth seeds.

Murray is joined in round two at Houston by London-born Inglot and his regular partner, Treat Huey, who are the third seeds.

Inglot and Huey, ranked 39th and 26th respectively, defeated top-40 singles player Fernando Verdasco and his partner Mischa Zverev 6-3, 2-6, 10-5 today.

They will face Johan Brunstrom and Jesse Levine in round two.

Meanwhile in Morocco, the Brits fared less well.

Until recently Delgado and Skupski played regularly as a team, but both took time off after Open 13 in Marseille; Delgado to see to a long standing back problem and Skupski for the birth of his child.

Now playing separately, the Grand Prix Hassan II ATP 250 clay court tournament is only Delgado’s second tournament back and Skupski’s first.

Birmingham-born Delgado, ranked 78, and his partner Dick Norman lost to the Slovakian team of Martin Klizan and Igor Zelenay 6-4, 6-0 yesterday.

After a tight first set which was taken with a single break, the Slovakians ‘bageled’ their opponents in the second, dropping just 9 points.

62-ranked Skupski, playing with Russian Mikhail Elgin, lost a narrow contest against the forth seeded Italian duo Daniele Bracciali & Potito Starace.

Both teams served strongly, with both sets going to tie-breaks before the Italians edged the Champions Tie-break to take the match.

Time will tell how if Delgado and Skupski can be more successful playing in new partnerships than they did together.