The British pairing of Ken and Neal Skupski have won their first ATP World Tour event together in Montpellier.
With Ken 66th in the world doubles rankings and Neal 50th, the pair weren’t expected to make a particularly deep run in the Open Sud de France. However, the Liverpool-natives made their way through the tournament tiptoeing rather than stamping their feet, as each of their games was a close affair.
A 7-6 7-6 victory in the first round against fellow Brit Dom Inglot and Marcus Daniell was followed up with a 6-3 6-4 victory against the all-French Jeremy Chardy – Fabrice Martin duo.
In the semi-finals, a mammoth game against the also all-French pair of Tristan Lamasine and Lucas Pouille ended with a 10-5 win in the final tiebreak.
In the final itself, a relatively short 75 minutes was all the scousers needed to dispatch Ben Mclachlan from Japan and the Frenchman Hugo Nys 7-6 6-4.
It was the 34-year-old Ken’s fourth ATP title, his first coming in 2009 in St Petersburg, and his most recently in 2011 just a few miles down the road from Montpellier in Marseilles.
For the 28-year-old Neal however, this is his first title win on the tour. Speaking after the final, Neal said:
Our parents will be extremely happy with us,
It is my first title, and Ken’s fourth, so it is nice to get it as a pair