Since this feature began we have been lucky enough to have at least one title every single week. As the old expression goes, all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately there was nothing to add to the British trophy cabinet this week, but let’s have a look at how they got on anyway:
If one good thing has come from Liam Broady’s poor singles form, it’s been that he has been back playing doubles with Luke Bambridge. The pair have always had a good understanding and have historically had good results on the doubles court together.
The third seeds drew a pair of Canadian wildcards in the opening round and comfortably came through that 6-4 6-2. They barely faced much more of a challenge in their quarter-final match, once again coming through in straight sets to set up a tie with top seeds Jarryd Chaplin and Eric Quigley. The Australian/American pair had already had to battle through two final set tie-breaks and could not make it a hat-trick, with Broady and Bambridge winning 10-5 to move into their first final since September 2014.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 11, 2016
In the final, they found themselves against the second seeded pair of Keith-Patrick Crowley and Max Schnur. Despite claiming the first set, Broady and Bambridge were pegged back, and this time they could not slug their way through the championship tie-break, going down 10-6 in the last.
Just the one event on the ATP Tour last week and not even a whole one at that. This week has seen the opening week of Indian Wells, the first Masters tournament of the year. The doubles draw has been reasonably represented, with Andy Murray teaming up with Colin Fleming whilst specialists Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot are both with their respective partners, Bruno Soares and Robert Lindstedt.
Murray and Fleming opened their tournament with a match against the big-serving duo of John Isner and Colin Fleming. Unsurprisingly, the match was extremely tight, with few breaks of serve. Isner and Raonic took the first set 7-5 before the Brits responded with a tie-break victory in the second set. However, despite having the momentum they were unable to claim the deciding tie-break, losing 10-8 in a tense final few points.
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares narrowly defeated Dominic Inglot’s old partner, Treat Huey, and his partner Martin Klizan in the opening round and will now play Dom in the second round. Inglot and Robert Lindstedt defeated the Colombian pair, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
Interest in the challenger circuit was cut short early in the week as everyone involved tumbled out in the first round. Jonathan Marray was the second seed alongside Rameez Junaid in Sweden but lost to a pair of Swedish wildcards despite taking the first set 6-1. Marray was not the only British seed to tumble in the first round, as Ken and Neal Skupski also bit the dust as the third seeds. Considering their recent form they will be hugely disappointed to have crashed out 6-3 6-2.
Darren Walsh was the other Brit plying his trade out in Chile with Michael Linzer. The long trip came to nothing in the end, as they were resoundingly beaten 7-5 6-4 by Maximiliano Estevez and Jose Hernandez-Fernandez.
Aside from the run of Bambridge and Broady in Canada it was a largely disappointing week for the Brits on the whole. Lloyd Glasspool can perhaps be forgiven for exiting the doubles during the second round, given his run to the singles final. It is a shame that Glasspool and his partner, Felipe Peliwo, had to face Ed Corrie and Dan Smethurst in the first round, as that saw the end of their campaign.
The only other pairing to win more than just a single match was Richard Gabb and James Marsalek out in Israel. The third seeds lived up to their billing by comfortably progressing to the semi-finals and to be fair to them, they put up a strong fight in their match against the top seeds, eventually losing 10-5 in the final tie-break.
In Egypt, Keelan Oakley and Neil Pauffley stole the show in the first round by upsetting the third seeds Dominik Kellovsky and Vaclav Safranek. Unfortunately their journey ended there as they were forced to retire from their quarter-final encounter. Dylan Gee received a wildcard alongside Ilgar Akchurin but was beaten in the first round.
Scott Clayton, without Jonny O’Mara this week, was dispatched in the first round in Portugal but Nikki Roenn and Carlos Gomez-Herrera came through a tight encounter, winning 10-6 in the deciding tie-break. They then almost caused a major upset in the quarter-final, just coming up short to the second seeds in a reverse of the same scoreline.
Turkey hosted James Allemby and Dan Dowson who overcame a pair of Turkish wildcards to reach the second round where, as with Roenn, they were defeated by the second seeds. Stefan Sterland-Markovic fell in the first round.
Elsewhere, Dan Cox lost in the first round in Italy, Joe Cooper in Azerbaijan, and Jonathan Gray in Tunisia.
As with the ATP, Indian Wells was the only tournament on the calendar and no Brits qualified for the doubles draw.
There was some action in ITF events, albeit not a huge amount. Tara Moore and Conny Perrin were looking to keep heading in the right direction as they were in action in a $25K in Brazil. The top seeds were not given an easy ride though and did well to come through their opening match, grinding out a 10-7 victory in the deciding tie-break.
Tara Moore & Conny Perrin… WTA Rio finalists, ITF $25k Sao Paulo finalists and now into ITF Campinas doubles SFs later today. Vamos!
— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) March 5, 2016
Their quarter-final tie proved no less of a challenge as, once again they were taken to a deciding tie-break – this time coming through 10-6. However, their run was ended by Catalina Pella and Daniela Sequel in the semi-finals, where they were defeated in straight sets. This may not be a surprise to see them run out of steam, given how frequently they have been on court recently.
The only all-British female pairing was in Sharm el Sheikh, where Katie Boulter and Laura Deigman teamed up and probably had the most exciting opening round of anyone this week. After dropping the first set 5-7 they fought back and took the second 7-5. Then, in a nail-biting deciding tie-break, the Brits held their nerve to emerge victorious, winning 13-11.
The only other Brit in action was the ever-on-court Mirabelle Njoze who lost in the opening round in Hammamet.