Skupski brothers Ken & Neal secure Bergamo Challenger Title

By Glenys Furness

  • Ken & Neal Skupski take the title in Italy
  • Jamie Murray & Daniel Nestor edged out in Rotterdam first round
  • Dom Inglot & Robert Lindstedt made quarter final in Rotterdam

BERGAMO, ITALY – Ken & Neal Skupski win their first title of the year with a straight sets win over fourth seeds. Jamie Murray with Daniel Nestor, Dom Inglot with Robert Lindstedt suffer differing results in Rotterdam

Ken & Neal Skupski were seeded third in Bergamo. The first round saw them face a Wildcard pairing of Farrukh Dustov & Alessandro Motti. The Skupski brothers certainly showed their experience in the match as they dominated Dustov & Motti. The Brits only lost one game in the first set as they served up a breadstick. The second set saw the Brits still dominating and their opponents were unable to get a look in on serve, another breadstick followed.

In the quarter final the Skupski brothers faced another wildcard pairing in Salvatore Caruso & Federico Gaio. The match was much closer with the Italians edging the first set on a tiebreak (7-3), the seeds levelled up by edging the second set tiebreak also with a scoreline of 7-3. A match tiebreak was required to decide the semi finalists, fittingly, this was also close, but the Brits came through 10-7 securing the semi final berth.

The semi final saw the Skupski brothers face the second seeds Mateusz Kowalyczk & Andreas Siljestrom. The Brits dominated the first set as the second seeds were unable to make any inroads in the the Skuspki brothers serve. Kowalyczk & Siljestrom forced a second set tiebreak as neither side could convert any break points. The second seeds levelled up as they took the breaker 7-5, once again a match tiebreak would decide the winners. Once again, the match tiebreak was a very close affair with the Brits coming out on top 10-7.

The final saw the Skupski brothers face the fourth seeds, Nikola Mektic & Antonio Sancic. The Croatians played well and forced the Brits to save break points in the first set. The Skupski brothers were up to the challenge and secured the only break of serve in the first set to lead 6-3. The second set was still very close as the pairs exchanged breaks of serve. However, the Brits secured the vital break of serve at the end of the match to win in straight sets.

Over in Rotterdam, and newly crowned Australian Open champion Murray teamed up with Daniel Nestor in the first event since securing his first men’s doubles grand slam title. Murray & Nestor, who incidentally played against each other in the Australian Open final, were seeded third. The Brit/Canadian pairing faced Philipp Petzschner & Alexander Peya. Murray & Nestor did not get off to a great start, as they were broken twice to lose the first set 2-6. The second set was closer as the Brit/Canadian team were playing better and with service breaks being exchanged Murray & Nestor broke at the death to level up. The match tiebreak was very close, however Petzschner & Peya secured the win 10-8.

Inglot & Lindstedt faced the qualifiers Marin Draganja & Lukas Rosol in the first round. After losing a very close first set 5-7, Inglot & Lindstedt came back strongly in the second set. The Brit/Swedish pairing dominated the set taking it 6-2. In the match tiebreak Inglot & Lindstedt continued as they left off in the second set taking the breaker 10-5. In the quarter finals they faced Petzschner & Peya, the Brit/Swede again lost the first set, although slightly closer this time 3-6. The second set Inglot & Lindstedt secured 6-4 after breaking Petzschner & Peya to force a match tiebreak. Unfortunately for the Brit/Swede their opponents stormed the breaker 10-4.

Brits are in action next week in Rio, Marseille, and Poland.