Apologies for a lack of round-up last week – I was away on holiday. However, the good news is that you get a double dose of doubles this week so really, everyone’s a winner!
It is worth saying from the outset that there is one young lady who stole the show this fortnight. Harriet Dart, plying her trade out in Turkey, returns home with a packed suitcase after claiming two doubles titles with two different partners. In Week 14, Harriet was partnering Bulgarian, Viktoriya Tomova, and stormed through the opening two rounds before requiring a deciding tie-break to progress to the final. The final was somewhat tarnished by the fact that it was won via a walkover but at the end of the day a trophy is a trophy.
The following week she was also the second seed but this time partnered fellow Brit Emily Arbuthnott. After dishing out a double bagel in the opening round they then only dropped 13 games in their next 3 matches to claim the title. Between them, the pair now have 12 ITF doubles titles.
They were not the only Brits collecting silverware over the last fortnight though. Back in Week 14, Luke Bambridge teamed up with doubles specialist Darren Walsh out in American for a 25K futures event. The top seeds blew apart the rest of the field, beating both the third and fourth seeds on their way to a debut title as a pair.
The biggest name in British doubles once again came to the fore this week as Jamie Murray made his first ever Masters final partnered by Bruno Soares. Their route to the final was littered with doubles specialists as they faced Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek, Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea and then Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, only dropping one set to Nestor and Stepanek.
In the final they came up against hot shots, Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. The Frenchmen have been in imperious form, winning both Indian Wells and Miami and backed that up with a third Masters trophy here in Monte Carlo, defeating Jamie and Bruno 4-6 6-0 10-6.
Two Texan college graduates teamed up to progress to their own final as Ed Corrie and Lloyd Glasspool bulldozed their way through out in Greece. The fourth seeds ran into the top seeds in the final, who unfortunately ended their run, defeating them two and three.
Katie Boulter also continued her comeback from a long injury lay-off with a superb run to the final in Sharm el Sheikh. Impressively, Katie and her Ukrainian partner, Oleksandra Korashvili, crushed the top seeds 6-2 6-2 in the quarter-final but could not replicate that in the final, losing 13-11 in a third set tie-break to the second seeds.
Katie was not the only returning player to make an impact. Dan Cox teamed up with Swedish struggler Milos Sekulic back in Week 14 and showed strong mental fortitude to reach the final. The fourth seeds needed a third set tie-break in all three of their opening matches, winning them 10-2, 10-4 and 11-9 before succumbing to the second seeds in the final.
Week 14 – ATP Tour and Challengers
Jamie Murray may have found success in Monte Carlo but the week before was not as fruitful for others. Out in Morocco, Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt were the top seeds but were surprisingly beaten by Marin Draganja and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in the quarter-final. Draganja and Qureshi proved a thorn in the side of British interests that week as they also defeated Colin Fleming and Jonathan Erlich in the opening round. Jonathan Marray could not take advantage of his significant rankings advantage as he and his partner, Igor Zelenay, were dispatched comfortably by Flavio Cipolla and Rogerio Dutra Silva.
Neal Skupski took a rare break from brother Ken to join forces with American Nicholas Monroe in Houston. They had a real opportunity to set up a dream clash with the Bryan brothers but were defeated in the opening round 7-6 4-6 10-4 by teenage wildcards, Tommy Paul and Reilly Opelka.
With Neal out in America, Ken was keeping it more local as he only travelled down to a Challenger in Napoli to work with Rameez Junaid. The second seeds looked to be making strong headway after two comfortably victories but were brought to an abrupt halt by eventual champions Gero Kretschmer and Alexander Satschko.
Week 14 was a surprisingly busy week for Brits on the WTA tour as four congregated in Poland. Naomi Broady was the real success story as she advanced to the semi-finals alongside Alicja Rosolska – who she is partnering for the third time. They were within touching distance of a WTA final as well losing in the semi final 0-6 6-4 12-10.
Naomi Broady was not the only Brit to progress past round one as a cruel draw dealt Anna Smith and Jocelyn Rae a date with Heather Watson and Klaudia Jans-Ignacik. The doubles specialists could not prevail, as Heather advanced to the second round 10-6 in the third. She made it no further though, losing 7-5 6-4 to Stephanie Foretz and Mandine Hesse.
Ed and Lloyd may have made the final in Greece last week but a week earlier there was almost a different British finalist. Jonny O’Mara was just a couple of points away as he lost his semi-final there 11-9 in the final set. Mark Whitehouse also won a match alongside Pavel Krainik before being beaten by Henry Britton’s conquerors Darian King and Ricardo Rodriguez.
Sabrina Bamburac won two doubles matches in a row for the first time in almost two years, as she reached the semi-finals in Tunisia. Sabrina and her Bosnian partner, Jelena Simic, had to come through two tight matches to progress to the semi-final but were unfortunately forced to withdraw.
Emily Webley-Smith continues to go it alone in the Far-East as she this time competed in South Korea. Seeded third, Emily and Tadeja Majeric were upset by local wildcards, So Hee Jung and Sanq Hee Park in the quarter-finals.
Speaking of wildcards, it was a battle of four of them in the opening round in Greece, as Chelsea May Samways and Karolina Jaskiewicz took on Mingyang Liu and Yifei Yang. It was the British/Polish pairing that prevailed, to set up a clash with the top seeds. Unfortunately the seeded pair proved far too strong, defeating Chelsea by a couple of breadsticks.
As well as Dan Cox’s success in Qatar, there was also one victory for James Marsalek, before he was defeated by eventual champions, Antoine Bellier and Benjamin Bonzi. The only other Brit to get a ‘W’ next to his scorecard was Harry Meehan however, this was only courtesy of a walkover.
Elsewhere, there were first round losses for Robbie Ridout/Harry Skinner, Freya Christie, Joe Cooper, Manisha Foster, and Emily Arbuthnott.
ATP Tour and Challengers
Chances of a Murray brothers clash in the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters were dashed by Herbert and Mahut as they narrowly scraped past Andy Murray and Dom Inglot in the quarter-finals.
The rest of the Brits were in action across various Challenger events but with absolutely no success. The biggest disappointment was Neal Skupski and Scott Lipsky, who lost in the first round in Sarasota despite being the top seeds. James Ward was also in action alongside in-form Gerald Melzer but he also bit the dust in the opening round. Disappointingly there were also first round defeats for Jonathan Marray in Italy and Liam Broady in South Korea.
The latest week was significantly quieter than the previous week, with Tara Moore the only Brit in action alongside regular partner, Conny Perrin. The pair, who have had a strong year so far, were unable to build on this – losing 6-1 7-5 in the first round.
With summer coming thick and fast, it seems that Greece has become a popular spot for our Brits in recent weeks and this was no different. Laura Sainsbury made full use of her wildcard alongside Janine Hemmes as they progressed to the second round with a 6-3 6-2 victory. They were joined by Sarah Beth Grey (previously Askew) and Isabelle Wallace who also won their opening match. That was where the journey ended though, with neither Brit able to progress to the semi-finals.
As was mentioned earlier, Emily and Harriet won the title in Turkey but we were denied a British clash in the semi-final as fourth seeds Jazzamay Drew and Iryna Shymanovich fell in their quarterfinal clash against Bibiane Weijers and Alina Wessel.
Katie Boulter also stole the limelight in her run to the final in Sharm el Sheikh but new Brit, Jovana Knezevic, claimed a notable victory in one of the most exciting matches of the week. After claiming the opening set 6-3, momentum then totally swung as they then lost 1-6 to force a deciding tie-break. The tie-break was thrilling, with the British player and her partner eventually coming through 15-13. This set up an encounter with the second seeds which ultimately was a step to far for Jovana. Manisha Foster lost in the first round.
En route to their final appearance in Greece, Ed and Lloyd met the excellent wildcard pairing of Jonathan Binding and Matthew Hingley who came through a tricky opening tie and made life tough for the eventual runners-up in the quarter-finals, only going down 6-4 6-4. Third seeds Scott Clayton and Jonny O’Mara made a disappointing first round exit.
The only other Brit to claim a victory was Tanysha Dissanayake who won her first round match before being knocked out via a double breadstick defeat. Sabrina Bamburac also made the trip to Tunisia but failed to progress through the opening round.
Luke Bambridge and Darren Walsh could not build on their title a week earlier, falling at the first to South American pair Alejandro Gomez and Roberto Quiroz. Matthew Brooklyn was also defeated in the opening round two and two.
Finally, there were first round defeats for Emily Webley-Smith, James Marsalek, Joe Cooper and Luke Stevenson.