Lloyd Glasspool & Luke Johnson capture Challenger titles as Jay Clarke wins ITF event in Italy
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Glasspool and Johnson title-winners in France and Portugal
The Brits dominated doubles on the ATP Challenger Tour last week, with Lloyd Glasspool and Luke Johnson winning events in France and Portugal.
Glasspool and Finnish partner Harri Heliovaara claimed a seventh title together (three ATP Tour and four ATP Challenger) at the Bordeaux Challenger.
After a narrow loss in the Italian Open, Glasspool and Heliovaara quickly pivoted to Bordeaux to get some extra matches under their belt ahead of the French Open.
The pair had a close battle with Constantin Frantzen and Hendrik Jebens in the first round – coming through in a match tie-break 6-3, 5-7, 10-2 – but it was plain sailing from there. In the semis, they defeated five-time Grand Slam champions Nicholas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-5, 6-3, before finishing with a commanding 6-4, 6-2 win over third seeds Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul in the final.
Meanwhile, in Oeiras, Portugal, it was a second Challenger title for Britain’s Luke Johnson and Dutch partner Sem Verbeek.
Coming into the final off the back of straight sets wins in the quarter and semi-finals, Johnson and Verbeek were made to work for the trophy in the final – coming from a set behind against Portuguese wild cards Jaime Faria and Henrique Rocha 6-7(6), 7-5, 10-6.
The win sees Johnson rise 11 spots in the rankings to world No.135. There are currently nine British players ranked in the ATP doubles top 150, with seven inside the top 100.
Elsewhere in British doubles, Neal Skupski made his second ATP 1000 semi-final of the season at the Italian Open, alongside Wesley Koolhof. The duo fought through three rounds before eventually losing to Robin Haase and Botic van de Zandschlup.
Clarke picks up first trophy of the season
Jay Clarke won Britain’s only single title last week and his first in 2023 at the M25 Reggio Emilia in Italy.
Clarke – who captured his first trophy on clay since 2019 – had to battle past five Italians to lift the title, including a gutsy performance against Govani Oradini in the quarter-final, where he came from a set down to win 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
The 24-year-old arguably saved his best performance for last, coming out with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4 victory over Julian Ocleppo.
There was also a singles final for Britain’s Anna Brogan at the W25 Kachreti. However, the 25-year-old was denied a second career title by a 6-2, 6-2 loss to home star Ekaterine Gorgodze.
British trio win ITF doubles titles
The ITF World Tennis Tour brought further success for Britain’s doubles players last week – Stuart Parker, Giles Hussey and Millen Hurrion all among the title winners.
Starting at the M25 Prague – Parker won his first trophy of the 2023 season alongside Swiss star Jakub Paul. Having fought their way to the final, Parker and Paul showed great resilience to overturn a set deficit and beat Martin Damm and Alex Rybakov 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 in the final.
Hussey and Hurrion joined forces at the M15 Monastir last week, combining to win their first title together. The Brits closed out their maiden victory with a 6-4, 6-4 win over French duo Adrien Gobat and Alexandre Reco.
Hussey has now made the semi-final or later at his last six ITF doubles events.
Harriet Dart also made the doubles final at the W60 Bodrum – finishing runner-up with Ayla Aksu. The British, Turkish pair narrowly lost 6-4, 7-6(3) in the final to Oana Gavrila and Isabelle Haverlag.