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Neal Skupski & Wesley Koolhof finish runners-up in Beijing


Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof lost a nail-biting final at the China Open to top seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek 6-7(12), 6-3, 10-5 to end an impressive week as runners-up in Beijing.

The British, Dutch duo saved five set points to edge the first set and had opportunities to break at the start of the second, but the world No.1 and No.2 finished the match strong.

A crucial break to love at 4-3 in the second set proved a turning point and the Roland Garros champions won nine of the last 11 points to see out the match tie-break.

“It was a great match tonight,” Krajicek said in his on-court interview after the win. “It was a really high level from both teams. I think we did a good job in the second set of staying in the match and keeping our level and I think we played great.”

Skupski and Koolhof have reached six finals so far this year, lifting two titles: s’Hertogenbosch and a first Grand Slam together at Wimbledon.

A win would have seen them rise No.1 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings, where they currently sit just one place behind Dodig and Krajicek.

The pair now head to the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where Skupski is one of five Brits competing in the men's doubles draw.

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