British Tennis Round-up: Fed Cup triumph and a maiden ATP World Tour title
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Great Britain’s Fed Cup team were on brilliant form in Tallinn to reach the World Group II play-offs for a second consecutive year.
Led by captain Anne Keothavong, the team of Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Anna Smith and Katie Boulter, finished top of their group after sailing past both Portugal and Estonia 3-0 in the round-robin phase of the Euro/Africa zonal group tie.
Estonia’s world No.27 Anett Kontaveit proved the toughest challenge for Konta on Friday, but the British No.1 fought back from a set down to roar to a 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 victory.
The tie also marked Boulter’s Fed Cup debut of which she won both of her doubles matches with Anna Smith.
The team went onto face Hungary in Saturday’s play-offs and maintained their winning form to reach April’s World Group II play-offs.
Britain’s performance means they will be seeded fourth in the play-offs behind Russia, Spain and Ukraine. The draw for the upcoming tie will take place on Tuesday 13 February at 10:00 GMT.
Hot on the heels of winning an ATP Challenger tournament in Quimper last week, Ken and Neal Skupski moved onto Montpellier for the Open Sud de France and captured their maiden ATP World Tour title together.
The brothers defeated French duo Tristan Lamasine and Lucas Pouille 6-7(5), 6-4, [10-5] in the semi-final to reach their first ATP World Tour final since the VTB Kremlin Cup in 2013.
They found themselves up against fourth seeds Ben McLachlan and Hugo Nys in the final and captured the trophy with a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory.
While the achievement marks a fourth ATP World Tour title for Ken, it is the first the brothers share as a double team, as well as a first for Neal who has moved up to a new career-high ranking of No.50 in the world.
Other Brits in action
There was delight for Gabriella Taylor Down Under as she lifted her first trophy of the year while competing at a $25K ITF Pro Circuit tournament in Launceston, Australia.
The 19-year-old defeated American fourth seed Asia Muhammad 6-3, 6-4 in the final to win her fourth career singles title.
Meanwhile in the doubles, Laura Robson reached her second final in two weeks. Following on from clinching the trophy at $60K tournament in Burnie with America’s Vania King, Robson teamed up with Russia’s Valeria Savinykh in Launceston. The pair secured their spot in the final with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Jaqueline Adina Cristian and Tereza Mrdeza, but were denied the title after falling in a tight two-setter to home pairing Jessica Moore and Ellen Perez, 7-6(5), 6-4.
Joe Salisbury also reached a second consecutive final in two weeks. Last week, he finished doubles finalist of an ATP Challenger in Dallas with Leander Paes, before moving onto play at the San Francisco Open with British compatriot Luke Bambridge. The pair ousted third seeds Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Christopher Rungkat 6-2, 6-2 to set up a final with fourth seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Roberto Ven Maytin, but narrowly fell 6-3, 6-7(5), [10-7].
In Sharm El Sheikh, Emily Webley-Smith partnered Russia’s Anastasia Pribylova and won a $15K tournament. The pair faced Laura-Iona Andrei and Julia Kimmelmann in the final and cruised to a 6-3. 6-3 win. The trophy was Webley-Smith’s second in two weeks after more success in Sharm El Sheikh the week before.
Britain’s Boys 12&U team continued their remarkable run in the Tennis Europe Winter Cup while playing at the finals in the Czech Republic. Their journey came to an end in the semi-finals, but a huge congratulations to Chris Peet’s team of Viktor Frydrych, Jamie Diack and Henry Trump.
On home soil…
Britain’s Girls 12&U team were also in Winter Cup action as the finals took place in Sunderland. Andy Barnes’ team of Hannah Read, Vlada Kozak and Sophya Devas, made it through to Sunday’s final, but eventually fell to the Czech Republic.
Britain's 14&U teams will compete in their respective finals the following weekend. Discover a full breakdown of draws and results.
In Loughborough, Tara Moore, Jack Findel-Hawkins and Luke Johnson enjoyed impressive runs to reach their respective doubles finals at a GB-Pro Series event in Loughborough.
The GB Pro-Series represents both men’s and women’s events that are part of the ITF Pro Circuit taking place in Great Britain.
In the women’s doubles, Moore teamed up with Switzerland’s Conny Perrin and reached the final with a battling 3-6, 7-5, [10-6] victory over fellow Brits Sarah Beth Grey and Olivia Nicholls. They faced Dutch dup Michaella Krajicek and Bibiane Schoofs in the final but missed out on the title after suffering a tight 6-7(5), 6-1, [10-6] loss.
Findel-Hawkins and Johnson defeated British duo Neil Pauffley and Marcus Willis 6-3, 3-6, [10-8] to reach the men's doubles final but were denied the title after losing 6-4, 6-1 to Harri Heliovaara and Frederik Nielsen.
Finally, the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton played host to the 14U Winter National Tour Finals. Eva Shaw from Nottingham lifted the girls' title, while Lui Maxted from Sussex was crowned boys' champion.
Photo of the week
Johanna Konta celebrated Great Britain’s Fed Cup triumph with a fist pump!
Tweet of the week
Heather Watson shared the team’s winning photos…