Aussie weekly wrap: Childhood mates claim first pro doubles title
South Australians Luke Saville and Alex Bolt won their first ATP Challenger doubles title as a team this week.
Australia was well represented in the second week at the US Open, led by top-20 stars Alex de Minaur and Matt Ebden.
Rinky Hijikata, Hayden Jones, Pavle Marinkov and Heath Davidson all recorded career-best results at Flushing Meadows too.
For many Aussie players competing in tour events elsewhere across the world, it proved a week to remember as well.
Childhood friends Alex Bolt and Luke Saville, who grew up in South Australia’s Riverland region, achieved a major milestone. They teamed up at an ATP Challenger in China to win their first professional doubles title as a team.
“I think we played our first doubles tournament together when we were five,” Bolt related earlier this season when they made their Grand Slam debut as a team at Australian Open 2023.
“We’ve known each other for a long time and we’re great friends … It’s kind of a dream come true to play with one of your best mates.”
Chris O’Connell completed an Australian sweep at the Shanghai tournament with victory in the singles event. It was the world No.69’s first title of the season.
This week’s most outstanding performers include:
Chris O’Connell: The 29-year-old did not lose a set during a title-winning run at an ATP Challenger in Shanghai (China). O’Connell defeated world No.85 Yosuke Watanuki in the final to win his fifth career title at this level.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 10, 2023
Alex Bolt and Luke Saville: The Aussie duo claimed the doubles title at the ATP Challenger in Shanghai. This is 30-year-old Bolt’s eighth career ATP Challenger doubles title and 29-year-old Saville’s 18th at this level.
Li Tu: The 27-year-old was a singles semifinalist at the ATP Challenger in Shanghai. This was Tu’s best result at ATP Challenger level this season.
Adam Taylor: The 32-year-old made the doubles semifinals at an ATP Challenger in Cassis (France) with Brit Billy Harris. It was Taylor’s ninth doubles semifinal appearance of the season.
John-Patrick Smith: The 34-year-old teamed with Indian Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan to reach the doubles semifinals at an ATP Challenger in Istanbul (Turkey). It was Smith’s ninth doubles semifinal appearance this season.
Kimberly Birrell: The 25-year-old was a singles semifinalist at an ITF 100 tournament in Tokyo (Japan). Birrell beat world No.91 Jule Niemeier in the quarterfinals to record her eighth top-100 win of the season.
Kaylah McPhee: The 25-year-old advanced to the quarterfinals in both singles and doubles (with Switzerland’s Sebastianna Scilipoti) at an ITF 40 tournament in Saint-Palais-sur-Mer (France).
Patrick Harper: The 23-year-old teamed with Germany’s Mark Wallner to win the doubles title at an ITF 25 tournament in Bagneres-de-Bigorre (France). This is Harper’s second career title.
Matthew Dellavedova: The 23-year-old was a singles semifinalist at an ITF 25 tournament in Bagneres-de-Bigorre. This was Dellavedova’s second singles semifinal appearance of the season and first since April.
Thomas Braithwaite and Timothy Gray: The Aussie pair were doubles finalists at an ITF 25 tournament in Monastir (Tunisia). This was 23-year-old Braithwaite’s career-first ITF doubles final appearance and 25-year-old Gray’s third.
Moerani Bouzige: The 24-year-old reached the singles semifinals at an ITF 15 tournament in Nakhon Si Thammarat (Thailand). This was Bouzige’s second semifinal appearance in as many weeks.
Renee Alame: The 14-year-old made the singles semifinals at an ITF J100 tournament in Sarawak (Malaysia).
Rohan Hazratwala: The 16-year-old won the boys’ singles title at an ITF J30 tournament in Adelaide. Hazratwala also teamed with fellow Aussie Oliver King to win the boys’ doubles title.
Ava Beck: The 15-year-old won the girls’ singles title at an ITF J30 tournament in Adelaide. It is Beck’s second ITF junior title of the season.
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