The British doubles dry spell is well and truly over as another three trophies were collected over the last fortnight.
Luke Bambridge collected his second title of 2016 alongside new partner Farris Fathi Gosea as they found success down in Mexico. The third seeds romped through the field, facing fourth seeds Mauricio Astorga and Manuel Sanchez in the final. They had given up no sets throughout and weren’t prepared to ruin that record in the final, claiming the title with a pair of tie-breaks.
— Steven (@GBtennis) May 7, 2016
In Egypt, Samantha Murray continues to impress in her comeback as she followed up her singles and doubles finals in week 17 with another doubles final and a singles semi-final. Back partnering Despina Papamichail, the Brit defeated the fourth and first seeds on route to the final, where they came up against the second seeds. Their Indian opponents claimed the opening set but Murray and Papamichail regained momentum to take their second title in as many weeks, 3-6 6-2 10-1.
ATP and Challengers
Madrid was the sole destination on the ATP Tour with just the one Brit taking to the court. Jamie Murray was back alongside Bruno Soares in a decisive week for his number one spot. In only the second round Jamie found himself facing old partner John Peers for the third time this year. Jamie had two previous victories to his name but it was Peers and Henri Kontinen who emerged victorious at the third time of asking. As a result Jamie fell to four in the rankings, with Marcelo Melo regaining his top spot.
There was more participants but no more success on the challenger circuit as Brits were active in three tournaments across two different continents. In Rome Kyle Edmund was back with his junior partner Frederico Ferreira Silva. However, they could not replicate their earlier accomplishments, falling to the second seeds 6-4 6-0.
To the east, Lloyd Glasspool and Alex Ward also fell in the opening round in Busan. They put up more of a fight however, losing 6-4 7-6 to the third seeded Indian duo. In France, Jonathan Marray become the sole Brit to record a victory as he and Adil Shamasdin moved through to round two with a straight sets triumph. Their run was ended by the Croatians Nikola Mektix and Antonio Sancic.
22 matches. A singles ranking, a doubles ranking, two titles & a runner up. What a start @SamMurray87 with a successful first trip back!
— TeamBath MCTA Tennis (@teambathmcta) May 7, 2016
The lights are on but nobody’s home.
Luke Oakley and Neil Pauffley had a relatively successful week on the red clay in Croatia as they reached the semi-finals – the only unseeded pair to do so. Their defeat came via the eventual champions Omar Jasika and Bradley Mousley.
Both Jay Clarke and Curtis Clarke were in action in Italy but – despite having the same surname and same nationality – were not competing alongside each other. Both recorded victories in their openers courtesy of deciding tie-breaks, with Jay setting up a meeting with the third seeds and Curtis the second seeds. Unfortunately, neither were able to upset the applecart, as all four seeded pairs made it to the semi-finals.
Over in the land of the rising sun, Katy Dunne failed to make it through qualifying whilst there was a better showing from Emily Webley-Smith. Emily produced a shock in the first round to defeat the second seeds Shuko Aoyama and Makoto Ninomiya 7-5 6-1, backing that up with a routine quarter-final victory. Unfortunately they came unstuck in the semi-final, losing to the unseeded Hioko Kuwata and Ayaka Okuno.
In Turkey, Nicholas Nugent made full use of his wildcard to rout home favourites Alp Sentay and Sefa Suluoglu. Despite putting up a valiant fight, he and partner Jakub Wojcik were beaten by the second seeds in the next round.
Finally, the up and down year of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith continues as the top seeds were upset in the opening round in France. There were also defeats for Mirabelle Njoze in Tunisia and Joe Cooper in America.
— Gabriella Taylor (@gabitaylorr) May 13, 2016
Week 19 belongs to Gabi Taylor as the teenager won her first 10K doubles title alongside 20 year old Alice Bacquie of France. The third seeds took advantage of a smaller field, securing a bye through the opening round. They battled hard in a tense quarter-final to ensure all four seeds reached the semi-finals. The second seeds were their opponents but Gabi and her partner were in the mood for an upset, winning a tight match 10-5 in the deciding tie-break. Despite facing the top seeds in the final, Gabi and Alice were fed up of deciding tie-breaks, opting instead to win in remarkable style, dishing out a pair of breadsticks.
Portugal was not a happy hunting ground for Marcus Walters who lost in the first round but there was much more success for second seeds Scott Clayton and Jonny O’Mara. The British boys had a very local feel about their week as they faced four different all-Portuguese pairings during their crusade. They didn’t need a deciding tie-break until their semi-final clash with third seeds Goncalo Falcao and Fred Gil. In the final against the top seeds they found themselves once again embroiled in a third set decider but this time it was not to be, as Nuno Deus and Joao Domingues won 10-7 to take the title.
ATP and Challengers
After last week losing his number one ranking, Jamie Murray was back seeking revenge in Rome. This time though he was not alone, as Dom Inglot sneaked in as an alternate alongside Fabrice Martin. Courtesy of Dom’s replacement of the top seeds, he and Jamie both received first round byes. Dom’s tournament did not last long though, as he and Martin fell to Oliver Marach and Marcin Matkowski in their first match. However, Jamie and Bruno did progress to the quarters as they beat Dominic Thiem and Sasha Zverev. The quarter-final was as far as they could manage though, as they lost to doubles legends Bob and Mike Bryan.
On the Challenger circuit there was minor success for alternates Liam Broady and Alex Ward. The pair came through a tight first round match against the Thai siblings, Sanchai and Sonchat Ratwiwatana. They then won again to reach the semi-finals where they lost to Australians Matt Reid and John-Patrick Smith.
There was no other challenger victories to celebrate as Ken and Neal Skupski lost their opener in Germany whilst Jonathan Marray suffered a similar fate in France.
There were a trio of Brits in Antalya action, all beside separate partners. Jazzamay Drew and Lisa Phillips both suffered the ignominy of losing in the first round but there was progress for top seed Harriet Dart and her Turkish teammate Ayla Aksu. After a bye they scraped through their quarter-final encounter with an 11-9 deciding tie-break victory before falling to eventual champions Sarah Lee and Ashley Mackey, in an even more intense 13-11 breaker.
After their semi-final run the week before, Luke Oakley and Neil Pauffley were awarded a wildcard in Croatia and duly responded with a comfortable opening win. Unfortunately though, Neil suffered an injury on the clay and they were forced to withdraw.
Unfortunately had to withdraw during my match. Tripped over a divot in the court and tweaked my groin. Going to get some treatment and rest
— Neil Pauffley (@NeilPauffley) May 11, 2016
Dylan Gee secured one victory in Algeria but that was where British success ground to a halt. Curtis Clarke and Jay Clarke failed to capitalise on their wildcard in Italy whilst Luke Bambridge and Farris Fathi Gosea – exhausted from last week’s title – also fell in the opening round. Wildcards Ben Davis and Josh Paris almost caused an upset against the fourth seeds in Turkey, falling 10-5 in the DTB whilst Mirabelle Njoze was routinely beaten in round one in Tunisia.