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Fearnley wins double, Ewen Lumsden triumphs in Cardiff, TS Open Tour recap

• 3 MINUTE READ

The first edition of the 2024 Scotwatch is here with Scots bagging titles on the opening week of the season.

Jacob Fearnley wins double in Luxembourg 

Jacob Fearnley started his 2024 on the right foot by winning both the singles and doubles titles at the M25 Esch/Alzette in Luxembourg. 

Fearnley entered the tournament as a qualifier, getting past Thijem Loof and Harold Van Raemdonck in straight sets to secure a spot in the main draw.  

In the first round, Jacob battled back from a set down to beat Alexey Vatutin 3-6 6-3 6-2 to progress to the last 16. There, he dispatched sixth-seeded German Tim Handel 6-2 6-1 to move into the quarter-finals. 

In the last eight, Fearnley played qualifier Kylian Collignon, who had defeated third seed Louis Wessels in the previous round. The Scot punched in another convincing performance, beating Collignon 6-3 6-1. 

Fearnley then bested top seed Yanki Erel, ranked 334 in the world, in the semi-final 6-0 6-4 to book his spot in the final.  

In the decider, Jacob played Jonas Forejtek of the Czech Republic, winning once again in straight sets 6-4 6-4 to secure his second career pro singles title. 

In the doubles, Fearnley partnered up with Alex Rybakov, who also attended Texas Christian University. The pair received a walkover into the semi-final, where they edged out Simon Beuapain and Lawrence Sciglitano 3-6 6-3 10-7. 

Fearnley and Rybakov took on Raphael Calzi and Amaury Raynel, who they downed 6-3 6-3 to lift the doubles title, a third career win for Jacob. 

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Following his title run in Luxembourg, Jacob rises 111 places in the ATP live singles rankings to number 519. He returns to action this week at the M25 Loughborough along with fellow Scots Hamish Stewart, Ewen Lumsden, Ewan Moore and James Mackinlay. 

Mckay and Fernando champions in Aberdeen  

Aberdeen Tennis Centre hosted the first TS Open Tour leaderboard event of the year as Kyle Mckay and Hima Fernando took home CNR International North East Championships titles. 

Mckay entered the tournament seeded fourth, battling through to a 10-8 match tie-break win against Finlay Watters in the quarter-final. He then toppled top seed Bruce Strachan, the 2023 North East champion, in a rollercoaster clash 6-3 0-6 10-7.  

In the final, Mckay faced Jed Alexander, who was looking to go one step further in the North East after finishing runner-up in 2023. However, it was Mckay who took advantage of the final, recovering from 4-6 down in the first set tie-break to edge the set 7-6 (7).  

There was little in it in the second set, but Mckay managed to keep his momentum and close out the match 6-4 to be crowned champion. 

In the women’s draw, second seed Hima Fernando, from Lancashire, posted a strong weekend on her way to the title. After a convincing opening two rounds, Fernando overcame Lara Savic in 6-4 7-6 (4) semi-final clash that lasted over two-and-a-half hours.  

The title was decided between Fernando and top-seeded Heather Barlow. There was little in it as Fernando took the opening set before Barlow battled back to force a match tie-break. Fernando managed to raise her level in the breaker to clinch the match 6-3 4-6 10-5. 

Kyle and Hima rise to the top of the TS Open Tour Leaderboard with the next instalment coming in February at the Lexus LTA British Tour Stirling. 

View results here 

Lumsden wins UTR 

Ewen Lumsden also picked up where he left off, going undefeated in Cardiff to win the Progress Tour money event in his first event back since finishing runner-up at the 2023 TS Open Tour Finals.  

Lumsden picked up three wins, all in straight sets, to reach the semi-finals. In the final four he bested David Quayle 6-4 6-4 to book his spot in the final. He then beat James Davis to take home the first Progress Tour title of the year. 

Ewen returns to the ITF Pro Circuit in Loughborough this week. 

United Cup recap  

Cam Norrie and Maia Lumsden were part of Team GB at the United Cup in Perth, Australia.  

The team started strong with a victory over host nation Australia with Norrie besting Alex De Minaur 6-4 2-6 7-6 in his opening match of the season. Meanwhile, Katie Boulter beat Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets. 

However, GB exited the competition with a loss to the USA. Despite Boulter beating Jessica Pegula in a career-best performance, Norrie fell to ATP number 12 Taylor Fritz 6-7 4-6 and the tie was eventually won by Pegula and Fritz, who edged out Neal Skupski and Boulter in the mixed doubles tie.  

It wasn’t to be for GB as they narrowly missed out on the final eight in Sydney on set win percentage. 

Norrie competes this week in the ASB Classic ATP 250 in Auckland, New Zealand. Lumsden stays in Australia, where she narrowly lost out in the first round of doubles at the Hobart International WTA 250.

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