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Doubles Take: Salisbury and Skupski take San Diego's inaugural ATP event
Doubles Take is here with a look at the latest results on the ATP and WTA tours.
Published Oct 05, 2021
Playing off and on together over the course of their careers, brothers Ken and Neal Skupski of England captured their biggest title as a team earlier this year when they triumphed at the 500-level event in Acapulco.
However, they were unable to build upon that momentum as Ken suffered through a scary medical issue right after, one that knocked him off the tour for a while. Neal soldiered on without his older sibling, reaching two Masters finals in a row with countryman Daniel Evans. The brothers reunited at the end of the spring clay-court stretch and played through the grass-court season, but only went 1-5 together.
Going their separate ways again, the brothers were about as far away as one could imagine this past week: Neal Skupski partnered with US Open champ and compatriot Joe Salisbury in San Diego, while Ken Skupski teamed up with yet another Englishman, Jonny O’Mara, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Separated by thousands of miles, the brothers found a connection where it mattered most: in the winners’ circle.
Salisbury and Neal Skupski, the top seeds at the new tournament, rallied from the brink of defeat in the first round, won their next two contests in straight sets and clinched the title in a match tiebreak over John Peers and Filip Polasek. Ken Skupski and O’Mara battled through the draw at the indoor event before topping Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald in the championship match.
Overall, it was a banner week for the Brits—and for the Skupski brothers, in particular.
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
Over the course of her 15-year career, Andrea Petkovic has seen and done so much, primarily on the singles court, cracking the Top 10 and winning seven titles.
Now, she can add another accomplishment to her ledger: doubles champion.
The German partnered up with former world No. 1 Kveta Peschke at the WTA 500-level event in Chicago. Unseeded, the pair defeated three top teams on their way to the final—only the third of Petkovic’s career—to face the unseeded duo of Caroline Dolehide and CoCo Vandeweghe. The American wild cards were on a roll of their own, having knocked off three seeded teams, but were stopped short by Petkovic and Peschke in straight sets.
It’s the first title of the year for Peschke and her 36th overall, proving Petkovic knew who to team up with for that first doubles win.
THE WAIT IS OVER
At the Astana Open, a new WTA Tour stop in Nur-Saltan, Kazakhstan, Anna-Lena Friedsam and Monica Niculescu got off to a smooth start in the doubles draw. The third seeds won their first two matches in straight sets, but were pushed to a match tiebreak in the semis.
Overcoming that, the German-Romanian duo reached its first final together against Angelina Gabueva and Anastasia Zakharova, each of whom were playing the first final of their respective careers. The more experienced pair won the first set, but then dropped the second to the Russians. In the match tiebreak, Friedsam and Niculescu prevailed 10-5, securing the first victory in two years for either of them.
Perhaps a win was in the cards all along for Friedsam: Her prior two finals came with Romanian partners. This run lent new weight to the saying, “the third time’s the charm.”