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Doubles Take: William Blumberg and Jack Sock win big at the Hall of Fame Open
The tours are cranking it up this summer: Doubles Take looks at the latest results.
Published Jul 20, 2021
So. Much. Tennis. The tours are cranking it up this summer: Here’s Doubles Take with a look at the latest results.
Evidently, last week was a great time to play a WTA tournament in your home country: Five of the six players on championship-winning teams were local favorites.
Starting off at the Prague Open, the Czech duo of Marie Bouzkova and Lucie Hradecka had a perfect week in front of the home crowd. The No. 3 seeds didn’t drop a set at the hard-court tournament, with their run including back-to-back wins against the two teams ahead of them in the draw in the last two rounds. It’s the second title in just over a month for Bouzkova and Hradecka, who won their first on grass in Birmingham, England.
At the Ladies Open Lausanne in Switzerland, the results played out like a fairytale come to life. With their respective doubles rankings well outside of the top 300 entering the event, the young Swiss team of Susan Bandecchi and Simona Waltert eked out a match tiebreak victory in the final against Ulrikke Eikeri and Valentini Grammatikopoulou. It’s the first tour title for both Bandecchi and Waltert.
Also, last week, Doubles Take tapped four-time major winner Timea Babos and her partner, Reka-Luca Jani as favorites for the title in their home event, the Hungarian Grand Prix. Their countrywoman Fanny Stollar said “not so fast” as she and Mihaela Buzărnescu were the last team standing, winning their first title together. Stollar knows how to play at home: Her other career doubles title came in Hungary three years ago.
At the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I., William Blumberg— one of the most decorated college players of all time—had a run to remember as he launches his pro career.
And sharing the court with a three-time men’s doubles major champion like Jack Sock can make things a little easier, too.
The unseeded Americans won the grass-court tournament, defeating Austin Krajicek and Vasek Pospisil for the title. It’s the first tour-level title in nearly three years for Sock, while Blumberg has his first overall in what looks to be a promising pro career.
THE DREAM SEASON CONTINUES
In the men’s game, more players are hitting their peak at a later age than ever before.
Take Tim Puetz, for example. The 33-year-old German won his first two titles in two years in May, made his debut in a Masters semifinal and reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the second year in a row. Now, Puetz has another big-time accomplishment under his belt: a first 500-level title.
Partnering with defending champion Michael Venus, the pair captured the title at the Hamburg Open as they beat Puetz’s countryman Kevin Krawietz and his teammate, Horia Tecau, in the final. It’s the fifth title of Puetz’s career and third this year, putting him among the leaders on the men’s side for 2021.
A DUTCH DELIGHT
It’s never too late for a breakthrough—a fact that Sander Arends and David Pel can surely attest to now.
The 29-year-old Arends and Pel, 30, just won the first tour title of their respective careers at the Swedish Open in Bastad. In a battle of unseeded teams, the Dutchmen defeated Andre Begemann and Albano Olivetti in the championship match. Earlier in the year, Arends and Pel reached their first final together in Marseille, France, a breakout performance topped by this one.
Once again, it’s a heavy schedule for both tours. The men kick off their summer hard-court stretch in Los Cabos, Mexico, where Luke Bambridge and Ken Skupski are the top seeds, followed by Jonathan Erlich and Santiago Gonzalez. Clay is still in full effect, though, with two events happening on the European dirt. The Swiss Open in Gstaad sees Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop atop the draw, while Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar, the second seeds, are already out. And in Umag, Croatia, top seeds Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic will be going for a second title of 2021.
The women are playing two tournaments this week, with both on clay. In Palermo, Italy, Eri Hozumi and Shuai Zhang, who have had some success together, are the top seeds. The last time Hozumi won a title was back in 2018, with Zhang, at the Japan Open. At the Poland Open, a new stop on the schedule, top seeds Miyu Kato and Renata Voracova are already through to the quarterfinals.