Skupski Brothers Capture First Team Title
British brothers Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski captured their first ATP World Tour team title at the Open Sud de France after beating Ben Mclachlan and Hugo Nys 7-6(2), 6-4 on Sunday.
Competing in their second final as a team after reaching the 2013 VTB Kremlin Cup final, the Skupskis won 80 per cent of points behind their first serve against the fourth-seeded duo to win the championship match in 75 minutes.
"This is a dream come true for us,” Ken Skupski told ATPWorldTour.com. “We've worked very hard over the years that we have played together. To finally win an ATP World Tour title together, we are extremely happy for us, but also for the family. It is a privilege to play with my brother and it is a great opportunity to progress more. We are super excited."
The Britons, who also won the ATP Challenger Tour doubles event in Quimper last week, rallied from a break down as Mclachlan and Nys served to clinch the first set at 5-4, and carried the momentum into a tie-break with six consecutive points from 1/2.
The Skupskis tightened their grip on the match in the second set with a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, before creating a match point opportunity at 4-5, on a deciding Deuce point. But the opportunity passed, as Mclachlan/Nys held their nerve to keep the final alive.
Memories of failing to convert match points in their only previous final together could have crept into their minds, with a first team title on the line, but the unseeded pairing proved their quality to banish the disappointment of five years ago with a love service hold.
"It is my first title, and Ken’s fourth, so it is nice to get it as a pair,” Neal Skupski told ATPWorldTour.com. “Our parents will be extremely happy with us. We made one final before, we had match points in Moscow, so it is nice to get that monkey off the back and hopefully we can get a few more this year.”
Did You Know?
Ken Skupski has won three of his four ATP World Tour doubles titles in France. The older Skupski brother won the 2009 title in Metz (w/Fleming) and the 2011 Marseille crown (w/Haase).