By Glenys Furness
- Neal Skupski reached semi-final of mixed doubles
- Brit made quarter-final of men’s doubles
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Neal Skupski was the best finishing Brit in the doubles. Making the quarter-final of the men’s event, and the semi-final of the mixed.
Neal Skupski entered both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles at the Australian Open. In the mixed the Brit teamed up with Desirae Krawczyk and the pair were the third seeds. In the first round, the Brit/American pair were against the Australian pair of John Peers and Storm Sanders. The first set saw the Australians go toe to toe with the seeds and force a tiebreak. The Australians eased through the breaker and took the lead. The second set was more of the same, as each pair fought hard and again forced a breaker. This time it was the Brit/American that edged through and levelled up the match. The final match tiebreak saw Skupski & Krawczyk edge through and book a spot in the next round 6-7(3). 7-6(12), 10-8.
The second round saw the seeds against another all Australian pairing, this time Andrew Harris & Alana Parnaby. Skupski & Krawczyk dominated the first set as the Australians struggled to stay with the seeds. The second set was a little closer, as Harris & Parnaby played better. Eventually though the seeds got the break needed and moved into the next round 6-2, 6-4.
In the quarter-final Skupski & Krawczyk were against Jamie Murray & Taylor Townsend. The unseeded Brit/American surprised the seeds and broke to take the first set. Skupski & Krawczyk re-grouped in the second set, and broke the serve of their opponents to level up the match. In the ensuing match tiebreak the seeds got the break needed and moved into the next round 4-6, 6-3, 10-5.
The semi-final pitched the Brit/American against the all Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna & Sania Mirza. The first set saw both pairs stay together, with nothing separating them, and eventually a tiebreak ensued. The Indian pair edged through to take the lead. The second set was almost identical, although this time when the tiebreak came it was the seeds that edged through to level up the match. The ensuing match tiebreak saw Bopanna & Mirza get the break needed to move into the final 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 10-6.
In the men’s doubles Skupski was with Wesley Koolhof and were the top seeds. In the first round the Brit/Dutch pair were against Alexander Bublik & John-Patrick Smith. The top seeds dominated from the start. In the first set Bublik & Smith only managed to get one game. The second set was more of the same, but they held serve twice. Skupski & Koolhof moved through in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
The second round saw the top seeds against Stefanos Tsitsipas & Petros Tsitsipas. The Greeks put up a fight against Skupski & Koolhof and forced a tiebreak in the first set. The top seeds edged the breaker against the Tsitsipas brothers and took the lead. The second set saw the Greeks manage to break serve of the top seeds to level up the match. The final set was once again really close, and again went to a tiebreak. As with the first set the top seeds secured the mini break and moved into the next round 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(7).
In the third round the Brit/Dutch pair were against Nikola Ćaćić & Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. The first set was close, as the Serb/Pakistani pair stayed with the top seeds, until eventually the seeds broke to take the lead. The second set was dominated by the top seeds who moved into the next round 6-4, 6-2.
The quarter-final saw the top seeds against Rinky Hijikata & Jason Kubler. The Australians broke the top seeds in the first set and took the lead. The second set saw Hijikata & Kubler full of confidence and they dominated Skupski & Koolhof to book a spot in the semi-final 6-3, 6-1.
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Doubles Round Up
Heather Watson with Danielle Collins were defeated by Marta Kostyuk & Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the first round in the Australian Open 6-4, 6-2.
Alicia Barnett & Olivia Nicholls were defeated by Marketa Vondrousova & Miriam Kolodziejova in the first round in the Australian Open 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Julian Cash & Henry Patten were defeated by Matwe Middelkoop & Robin Hasse in the second round in the Australian Open 6-4, 7-6(8).
Jamie Murray with Michael Venus were defeated by Gonzalo Escobar & Tomislav Brkic in the second round in the Australian Open 7-6(5), 6-4.
Lloyd Glasspool with Harri Heliovaara were defeated by Jason Kubler & Rinky Hijikata in the second round in the Australian Open 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Joe Salisbury with Rajeev Ram were defeated by Hugo Nys & Jan Zielinski in the third round in the Australian Open 6-7(7), 7-6(6), 6-2.
Charles Broom with Constantin Frantzen were defeated by Ramkumar Ramanathan & Michael Geerts in the first round in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve 6-7, 6-4, 10-7.
Joe Cooper & Sean Drewry were defeated by Lior Goldenberg & Yshai Oliel in the first round in Antalya 6-1, 6-2.
Emily Webley-Smith with Sofia Shapatava were defeated by Jasmin Jebawy & Lucie Wargnier in the first round in Andrezieux-Boutheon 2-6, 7-6(3), 10-6.
Next Week Brits play in Columbia, Koblenz, Tenerife, Cleveland (USA), Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, Hua Hin, Australia, Portugal, Mexico & Sheffield.
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