AUSSIES ENJOY DOUBLES SUCCESS ACROSS THE BOARD



Photograph: Getty Images


Storm Sanders has claimed her second WTA 500 title of the year in Berlin, Germany.


Sanders partnered up with Katerina Siniakova as the top seeds, with the pair fending off a match point in their quarter-final before going on to take out the title.


The 27-year-old Australian also won a WTA 500 title in Adelaide back in January, teaming up with Ash Barty on that occasion.


On the back of her successful week, Sanders has risen to number 12 in the WTA live doubles rankings, ahead of a Wimbledon campaign where she will defend a semi-final run from 2021.


Lizette Cabrera has won the highest-level title of her tennis career, taking out the ITF 100K event in Ilkley.


Cabrera and Korean partner Jang Su-Jeong took down the top seeds in the quarter-finals, before coming from a set down in the final to triumph 6-7(9), 6-0, [11-9].


It is the 24-year-old’s first title on grass and first title on any surface since September 2019.


Cabrera will climb 84 places in the WTA doubles rankings, to 205.


Akira Santillan and James Frawley have also enjoyed doubles success, winning the ITF 25K title in Martos, Spain.


The Aussie pair dropped just 10 games in three matches on their way to the final, before coming through a tight 6-7(7), 6-3, [10-6] battle to claim the trophy.


It is Frawley’s fifth career doubles title and Santillan’s fifth doubles title of 2022.


John-Patrick Smith reached his 55th ATP Challenger doubles final this week in Ilkley but fell just short of a 28th title.


Smith paired up with Ramkumar Ramanathan, progressing to the final without dropping a set before going down 7-5, 6-4 in the decider.


The Australian has moved back into the ATP doubles top 100 after his strong week, sitting at 99.


From an Australian singles standpoint, Alexei Popyrin continued his run of form on grass, reaching the semi-finals at the ATP Challenger event in Ilkley.


Popyrin initially bowed out in qualifying but was granted a lucky loser entry and capitalised on it, including getting a revenge win over Gijs Brouwer who had beaten him a few days earlier.


18-year-old Australians Philip Sekulic and Catherina Aulia both reached respective semi-finals at ITF level.


It was a maiden singles semi-final for Aulia and a fourth for Sekulic.


At the ITF 15K event in Tay Ninh, Vietnam, Aussie Thomas Fancutt was forced to retire after reaching his second singles semi-final of the month.


ATP Challenger Tour:


Ilkley, Great Britain


[Q] Zizou Bergs (BEL) def [5] Jack Sock (USA) 7-6(7), 2-6, 7-6(6)


In just his second career event on grass, Zizou Bergs came through qualifying and ultimately won seven matches to claim his fourth Challenger title.


In recent years, the winner of the Ilkley title has been awarded a Wimbledon main draw wildcard, so Bergs will likely get the opportunity to contest his first grand slam main draw next week.


For Sock, on the back of a strong fortnight, he moves up to number 102 in the ATP rankings – his highest placement since February 2019.


Parma, Italy


[WC] Borna Coric (CRO) def Elias Ymer (SWE) 7-6(4), 6-0


Former world number 12 Borna Coric has won his first title at any level since June, 2018.


Coric, who did not play for 12 months between March 2021 and 2022 after having shoulder surgery, is now back to number 203 in the world, and is still just 25 years old.


Blois, France


Alexandre Muller (FRA) def [7] Nikola Milojevic (SER) 7-6, 6-1


Alexandre Muller has enjoyed the biggest week of his career at home in France, after claiming his maiden ATP Challenger singles title.


Muller will jump up 52 places in the ATP rankings to world number 164, as heads to Wimbledon qualifying later this week.


Corrientes, Argentina


[2] Francisco Comesana (ARG) def Mariano Navone (ARG) 6-0, 6-3


In a much weaker Challenger draw in Argentina, local Francisco Comesana has also won his first ATP Challenger title.


The 21-year-old will now rise to a career-high ranking of 239.