STO Dbles Top Seeds Sander Gillé & Joran Vliegen, have a date with destiny in Sunday's grand final!
by Circle News, on Feb 26, 2021 3:48:20 PM
(Sander Gillé & Joran Vliegen)
By Dillon Lim
The first Doubles semi-final kicked things off on Day 5 of the Singapore Tennis Open on Centre court. Top seeded Belgian duo, Joran Vliegen and Sander Gillé, went up against the 3rd seeds Luke Bambridge and Dominic Inglot, for a spot in the grand final on Sunday.
The match got off to an interesting start. The Belgians saw two break points in the first game and a forehand passing shot from Vliegen gave them the break. The southpaw backed up the break by holding to love in no time. Bambridge, who still looked to be trying to ease into the match, made a simple error before holding to trail 1-2. The Brits fought hard to get their break back chance after getting to 40-40 from 15-40 on Gillé‘s serve, but were unable to convert. Inglot held to love this time, and Vliegen followed suit, taking the score to 4-2 for the Belgians. The 3rd seeds were overpowered at the net at 30-30, giving their opponents 2 break points. Bambridge then pulled out a big serve to get the hold to stay within touching distance at 3-4. A straightforward hold from Gillé meant that Inglot had to serve to stay alive in the first set. Nicknamed “Dom the Bomb” for his big serves, Inglot hit two aces to force the top seeds to serve for the set. Vliegen breezed to 40-0 for 4 set points and the Belgians closed the set on the 3rd, 6-4 in 36 minutes.
(Luke Bambridge and Dominic Inglot)
3 double faults from Inglot in the first game of the 2nd set gave his opponents a break point. However, the Brit was solid at the net and put away a volley at 40-40, before letting out a roar to lead 1-0. Two comfortable holds from Gillé and Bambridge put the British duo 2-1 ahead in the set. Vliegen, who only dropped 3 points on his serve so far, held to 15 and leveled the score at 2-2. Inglot was under pressure on his serve again when a 4th double fault gave the 1st seeds 2 break points.
The Belgians played brilliant doubles action and Gillé tapped away a volley to convert on the first break point. The 3rd seeds pumped themselves up when Inglot hit 2 superb backhand returns. But a well-played point by the Belgians got them to 40-30. Bambridge had to hit a return which sent Vliegen falling to the ground to set up break point, but the 3rd seeds just could not convert! On the first point of the next game, Bambridge then hit the shot of the match when he produced a backhand flick passing shot while moving backwards. The Brit built on that and held quickly to trail 3-4. Two easy holds from Vliegen and Inglot brought the score to 5-4 in favour of the top seeds.
Continued polished tennis from the Belgians rewarded them with 4 match points on Gillé’s serve. They required only 1 and sealed the match 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes. The Belgians did little wrong the whole match and won all deciding points at 40-40. Advancing to their first final of 2021 and sixth final together, the No 1 seeds will get a day off, as they wait for the last doubles quarterfinals between Galloway/Lawson and Ebden/Smith to be played. Their potential opponents are Martinez/Vega Hernandez, Galloway/Lawson or Ebden/Smith.
(Edited by Raj Kumar)
Dillon Lim is in his final year of university. He enjoys playing tennis and has been in love with the game since he was a kid. The 23 year old used to play competitively for Raffles Institution and was in the junior national training squad before leaving to study in the UK. And he still plays for his current university. Off the court, Dillon enjoys watching tennis matches and always keeps up with the very latest tournaments.
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