Our doubles and juniors round-up starts with Wesley Koolhofand Neal Skupski who were the third seeds in the Men’s doubles. The duo who are currently first in the race rankings cruised through their opening two rounds but came up against 14th seeds Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell. The last meeting between the two teams saw Koolhof and Skupski win a close affair to win the title in S-Hertogenbosch.
That match went to a match tiebreak and this match was even closer than their previous meeting with a lot of momentum swings involved. It was the Australian pairing who won the crucial points in the opening couple of sets with the Dutch-British pairing making unforced errors crucial moments. Ebden and Purcell broke twice as they took a 7-5 6-4 lead but the third seeds responded as expected increasing the pressure and intensity on return.
Koolhof in particular was playing a much better return game with Skupski finishing points off at the net. They converted two of their five break opportunities as they took the next two sets 6-3 6-4. The fifth set was a nail-biting contest with both teams bringing their best tennis with both teams having to save break points. Koolhof and Skupski couldn’t convert any of their six break points in the fifth game as frustration grew.
Ebden and Purcell failed to take any of their four break points in the following two return games but in the twelfth game, a powerful return winner from Ebden sealed the match 7-5 and a place in the quarter-finals. A frustrating match from Koolhof and Skupski who will be keen to do better at grand slams having dominated the regular tour.
Sticking with men’s doubles and the Skupski family as Ken Skupski has bid farewell to tennis after his doubles exit with O’Mara. They went out to 11th seeds Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in straight sets as Skupski said goodbye to an extraordinary career. In his career Skupski reached a career high ranking of 44 in the world and won seven titles. Announcing his retirement on Instagram, Skupski thanked tennis and is looking forward to the future:
“Tennis has given me so much over the years and I expect it will continue to give me plenty more in the future,” Skupski was quoted by the ATP website as saying.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me along the way. I’ve made some amazing friends, competed with many amazing players and shared the court with some legends of the game.”
Moving onto Juniors and there were opening wins for Mingge Xu andJasmine Conway in the girls singles as they reached the third round. Xu knocked out 15th seed Lucia Peyre while Conway Ela Nala Milic to reach the last 16. An opportunity rises for both Xu and Conway as only half of the 16 seeds are into the third round. Meanwhile in the Boys singles only William Jansen won his first round match but was defeated in the second round by the seventh seed Gilles Arnaud Bailly in straight sets.
In the doubles Luca Pow and Henry Searle reached the second round in the Boys Doubles with a match tiebreak win over Tanaputt Nirundorn and Jaden Weekes. While in the Girls doubles Hannah Klugman and Hephizibah Oluwadare won their opening match also in a match tiebreak against Weronika Ewald and Louise Van Den Broek.
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