Naomi Broady & Heather Watson make a habit of playing doubles together. The reigning Wimbledon mixed doubles champion teamed up with Broady again in Slovakia. The Brits entered as the fourth seeds. Although played regularly together in the Slams, the pair have never moved beyond the early stages. They did reach the final of the Hong Kong Open last year (a lower tier WTA event), but were unable to claim the title.
The pair had decided to enter the doubles in Trnava. Against home town opposition in the first round, the Brits were rarely troubled. Strolling through the match with ease, it was more of a lesson for the Slovakian opponents than a match. The seeds only lost two games to move into the quarter finals 6-2, 6-0.
The quarter final saw the Brits against more unseeded opposition, this time though the match was a little more equal. On the other side of the net were Nicole Melichar & Anna Smith. Broady & Watson continued to play well and broke in the first set. The second was much more straightforward as Melichar and Smith were not able to secure any breaks on the seeds serve. The all British team made it to the semi final 6-4, 6-2.
In the Semi final the Brits had their toughest match to date. The opposition of Alona Fomina & Ekaterina Yashina proved very difficult in the first set. The Ukrainian/Russian pairing were keeping the fourth seeds at bay, forcing the set into a tiebreak. The Brits had a very poor tiebreak and were soon a set down. Broady & Watson managed to re-group from the breaker and began to gain control in the next set to level the match. A match tiebreak would be needed to decide the finalists. The seeds were not to be out-done and had a much better tiebreak than in the first set to take the match 6-7(3), 6-3, 10-3.
The final saw the Brits against the third seeds. Broady & Watson played great tennis and as they got into the match the lower seeds took control. It was not going to be another day when they finished up as runners up. The Brits dominated the second set and soon had the trophy in their hands 6-3, 6-2.
Over in Turkey Joel Cannell teamed up with Manuel Pena Lopez. The Brit/Argentine were seeded three in the event in Antayla. Cannell & Pena Lopez faced an unseeded team in the first round. The American/Austrian were not able to get to grips with the seeds and soon found themselves a set down. The second set wasn’t any better for the unseeded pairing as the Brit/Argentine continued where they left off to take the match 6-3, 6-2.
The quarter final had the seeds facing Aria Harajchi & Jules Okala. Cannell & Pena Lopez were in control in the first set, breaking the Swiss/French pairing and taking the first set. Harajchi & Okala proved much tougher in the second set as they refused to give in, forcing a tiebreak. The third seeds held their nerve to seal the breaker and the match 6-3, 7-6(5).
In the semi-final the Brit/Argentine were against a pair of Germans. Sebastian Prechtel & Jakob Schnaitter were not much of a matchup in the first set, with the seeds breaking early to take the set. However, the second set was much closer, and looked to be heading to a tiebreak before Cannell & Pena Lopez sneaked a break to seal the match 6-3, 7-5.
The final saw the third seeds as the highest and only seeds left. Their opponents were Peter Bothwell & Samuel Bothwell who had disposed of top seeds and the fourth seeds on their way to the final. Going by the first set, the title looked in very little doubt for Cannell & Pena Lopez, as they strolled the first set, losing only one game. However the Irish pair were not going to go down without a fight, and came out in the second set on a mission. Bothwell & Bothwell managed to break serve of the third seeds and levelled the match. It would be down to a match tiebreak to settle this. Cannell, who has been in four finals over the last four weeks, showed no pressure as the third seeds performed well to take the title 6-1, 4-6, 10-5.
Moving to Kurume where Katy Dunne & Tammi Patterson had teamed up together. The Brit/Australian were the fourth seeds, and one of only two pairings that were not Japanese. Dunne & Patterson had very little trouble in the first round, dominating the match and losing only 3 games to take it 6-3, 6-0.
The quarter final was very much the same story. Against another all Japanese team the Brit/Aussie were in complete control again losing only three games in the match to move easily into the Semi final. 6-1, 6-2. The semi final had the fourth seeds against the top seeds. Rika Fujiwara & Ayaka Okuno were much tougher opponents. The Japanese pairing soon broke serve and had the set in the bag. Dunne & Patterson were not giving up however, and re-grouped. The fourth seeds worked out the Japanese service game and managed to break twice to grab the set and level the match. The match tiebreak that ensued saw the Brit/Aussie gain the upper hand and they claimed the spot in the final 3-6, 6-2, 10-6.
In the final the Brit/Aussie were against the last remaining Japanese pairing. Unseeded Erina Hayashi & Robu Kajitani looked to be up to the challenge in the first set. Neither pairing could make the breakthrough and the first set went to a tiebreak. The Japanese won this as Dunne & Patterson had a bad tiebreak. Once again needing to regroup the Brit/Aussie did so and came out to dominate the second set, finally having managed to get a handle on the Japanese service games. A match tiebreak would once again be required. The seeds were not going to be beaten and soon had a lead, they held onto this to take the title 6-7(3), 6-2, 10-4.
Other Doubles Results
Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares lost in Round 2 of Rome
Johanna Konta & Laura Siegmund lost in Round 2 of Rome
Joe Salisbury & David O’Hare lost in Round 1 of Busan Challenger
Brydan Klein & Matthew Eben lost in Round 1 of Busan
Ken & NealSkupski lost in Quarter final in Hellibron
Next week Brits play in Geneva (Dom Inglot), Nurnberg (Smith), Mestre (Skupski’s & Luke Bambridge)
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