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Monday 25 September 2017

New-look Irish pair taste instant success in Scotland

JAMES CLUSKEY and Colin O'Brien won the men's doubles titles at the AEGON Pro-Series in Edinburgh last week.

Playing fellow Irish player Barry King and his English partner Marcus Willis, Cluskey and O'Brien lost the first three games before bouncing back to win the next six games to take the opening set 6-3.

They then won the title when they also took the second set 6-3.

O'Brien, who has played in three Davis Cup ties for Ireland, was delighted with the victory.

"This is my third year in a row at Craiglockhart but it is a first time for James. I made the semis last year in the doubles so this is a big improvement for me," he said.

After teaming up for Bournemouth a week earlier, this was only a second Futures event for the new-look Irish pair.

"We had a bit of a shaky start. Conditions were pretty tough today with the wind swirling around, but we knuckled down and played good, solid percentage tennis and fought our way back into the match," said O'Brien.

After the event the pair headed to Newcastle for the second AEGON Pro-Series event, which is currently taking place. O'Brien won the doubles in the city last year.

In the singles at Edinburgh, Barry King proved to be the best of the Irish when he made the quarter-finals.

He put out No7 seed Matteo Marrai from Italy in his first round match and then beat Matthew Illingworth before going out to eventual winner Alexander Slabinsky 6-0 6-3.

Cluskey and O'Brien also made the second round.

In Newcastle, junior player Sam Barry got as far as the finals of the men's singles qualifiers, where he lost to Roberto Ortega-Olmedo of Spain. Barry had beaten British player Stefan Sterland-Markovic in the second round.

Cluskey had a bye in the first round but went out to British player Ahmed El Menshawy in the second round of the main draw.

In Bulgaria, Daniel Glancy was competing in the Varna City Hall Cup 2.

In the men's singles qualifiers, Glancy comfortably defeated German player Milan Ianakiev, but unfortunately lost to the Belarussian Vladzimir Kruk in the second round despite winning the opening set 6-1.

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