Britons Capture Second ATP World Tour Title
by ATP Staff|
British duo Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski clinched their second ATP World Tour title Sunday as they defeated French pair Jeremy Chardy and Richard Gasquet 2-6, 7-5, 10-4 in the final of the St. Petersburg Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.
The unseeded pair, who had beaten 2008 Australian Open champions Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram in the semi-finals, hit back from the loss of the first set to break serve in the 12th game of the second set and level the match. They then raced to victory in the Match Tie-break after 80 minutes.
"They started the match a lot better than us, obviously," assessed Fleming. "We hadn’t played against either of them before so we weren’t really sure how they were going to play, particularly in doubles. We’ve seen them play singles. But we stuck together as a team and we kept things simple in the second set and really stuck to the basics, which helped us stay in the match. Then we got the belief from that and went on and played very well at the end."
The 25-year-old Fleming and Skupski, 26, won their first ATP World Tour title together at the end of September at the Open de Moselle in Metz, defeating another French pairing in Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra. They came into the St. Petersburg Open on the back of success at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Orleans (d. Grosjean-Patience), which marked their third ATP Challenger Tour title of the season.
“It’s great to be able to play with somebody week in, week out," said Skupski. "It does make a difference when it comes down to the big points like it did today. The more we train together the more we’ll be able to understand out how each other play and I think it’s an art to be able to figure this out. Every week seems to be getting better and better.
“In the last few weeks we’ve had a lot of success on the ATP World Tour to help us out with our rankings. Hopefully we can start next year in Australia now.”
Chardy and Gasquet had not dropped a set in three matches en route to their maiden ATP World Tour final. The 23-year-old Gasquet was chasing his third ATP World Tour doubles title from his fourth final, while Chardy, 22, was contesting his first ATP World Tour doubles final.