Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski won their first ATP Tour doubles title at the Open de Moselle in Metz, France, on Sunday. It was just the duos first ever direct entry into an top ATP event and only their 4th event at the top ATP Level after three wildcards early in the year at the 3 British grass court events (Queens, Nottingham and Wimbledon).
The duo beat one of the top doubles teams, the French pairing of Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra on a champions tie-break 10-5 in the final after the first two sets were shared 2-6 6-4. The victory all the more impressive as the Frenchmen were on home soil.
The victory pushes Scotland’s Fleming up to 79 in the doubles world rankings, while England’s Skupski goes to 76.
Fleming and Skupski were not used in Britain’s Davis Cup defeat by Poland, though strong consideration to use them needs to be seriously considered, these twp guys know how to win doubles matcher – And that is perhaps the most important point – The usual davis cup doubles players Ross Hutchins or previously Jamie Murray all play with a partner from another country usually.
After winning the event Fleming, from Linlithgow, near Edinburgh in Scotland said
This is our first ATP title and no-one can ever take that away from us, But in terms of the long-term plan, the ranking points are so important because it means we’re closer to playing ATP-level events all the time, which is where we want to be. We were just pleased to get into the main draw because we’ve spent weeks going to ATP event after ATP event and being bottom of the list of entrants and not getting in. We kept working hard though and kept patient and eventually it happened for us. We got off to a rough start in the final, through a combination of them playing really well and us being a little bit overawed. We’d played all our matches on the second court and the final was on the stadium court and it was a very different atmosphere, it was very noisy. We had a lot of tough matches this week – we won our second round 11-9 in the tiebreaker and we could easily have lost that one, so to win the title is amazing.”
Skupski, from Liverpool, added:
This is our first direct acceptance at ATP World Tour level. In the three that we’ve played we’ve beaten the Bryan brothers and Melo-Sa, who are top 20. So we always knew that we were capable of beating top guys. These guys (Clement-Llodra) are very good and they outplayed us from the start but we kept plugging away and we found a way to get back into it and then we felt we had a chance. We tried to influence the Match tie-break early and we were fortunate to do so. We feel like we’ve got a good chance to break into the top 50 now.
Flemming and Skupski have been used to winning recently, over the last 12 months they have won 4 challenger events been in the final of a further 5, won 6 futures (level below challenger) events and even had time to beat the world number 1 doubles team the Bryan Brothers in their maiden ATP event at Queens – Not bad 12 months and with their ranking no good enough for entry direct into ATP events watch out for Team Flemski in 2010.
Update : Flemski have gained direct entry into the St Petersburg Open which starts on the 25th October 2009.