With Colin injured, Ken teamed up with India’s Rohan Bopanna to win the doubles title in Jersey. In the final they defeated Jamie Murray and Jonny Marray 6-2 1-6 10-6. Ken now moves on to the clay courts in Italy next week.
Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski won their Davis Cup debut as a partnership to put AEGON Team GB 2-1 ahead in the Europe/Africa Zone Group II Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie against Lithuania in Vilnius.
The British pair, ranked 53 and 54 respectively, saw off a stern challenge from young Lithuanian duo Laurynas Grigelis and Dovydas Sakinis to win 6-0, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3, in front of another packed crowd at the Vitas Gerulaitis Tennis Centre in the Lithuanian capital.
Fleming and Skupski started the match as heavy favourites, and breezed through the first set against their shell-shocked opponents. But with the crowd on their side, the Lithuanian duo turned the tables, hanging on in the second set to force it into a tie-break, and shocking the British pair by winning it 7-2.
However it was Fleming and Skupki’s experience that proved decisive in the end, taking their chances when they had to, and securing the next two sets to win the rubber. It was the first British victory in a Davis Cup doubles’ rubber since Tim Henman and Jamie Murray defeated Croatia at Wimbledon in 1997.
It also means that AEGON Team GB go into the final day of the tie ahead, also for the first time since the victory over Croatia.
“They played great tennis today,” said Ken Skupski. “We were professional about our tennis and we got the win.”
“We feel like we’ve merited our place in this tie, it’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” said Colin Fleming. “It feels very good to have played well today. Evo showed yesterday that Berankis is beatable, so Wardy’s got a good chance, and Dan’s ready to go out and do his bit for the team.”
AEGON Team GB captain John Lloyd commented: “It’s a nice feeling to be ahead going into the final day. I’m feeling very good. I expected this scoreline after two days, I would have loved to have 3-0, but plans are still where they are. Now we’ve got to win one of these singles, and I think we can do it. ”
“Ken and Colin kept their composure, they were very professional, they didn’t waver, I told them their chance would come, just keep digging in, you will get the opportunity, and sure enough they did and when they did they took it. So it was a good experience and I learned a lot today. “