Manchester | Appleton and Murray lead British doubles success
Brits Emily Appleton and Samantha Murray led the British charge into the quarter-finals of the doubles at the LTA’s Manchester Trophy on Thursday. The wildcard pairing joined compatriots Alicia Barnett and Olivia Nicholls and countrywoman Naomi Broady and her American partner Asia Muhammad in the last eight of the doubles which is taking place this week at the Northern Tennis Club.
It was a really close match. Even in the tiebreak we had a few match points and they played some really good points but luckily we managed to put it away at the end Samantha Murray
With rain affecting play on the outside grass courts, the first round of doubles was moved to the indoor hard courts while all singles matches were cancelled for the day.
Appleton and Murray prevailed in a tight encounter against the American pairing of Madison Brengle and Jamie Loeb 6-4 2-6 10-8 in 73 minutes to reach the last eight where they will face No.2 seeds Xinyu Jiang and Qianhui Tang.
The British duo managed to turn a 4-1 deficit around in the first set, winning five straight games to take the opener but couldn’t recover from losing the first four games of the second. The pair regained their momentum in the match tiebreak, volleying well to bring up six match points and withstood a late charge from their opponents to clinch victory.
“It was a really close match. Even in the tiebreak we had a few match points and they played some really good points but luckily we managed to put it away at the end,” said Murray.
Stockport’s Broady and Muhammad had an easier time of it against Marie Bouzkova and Vivian Heisen, easing to a 6-2 6-3 victory to set up a quarter-final clash with Barnett and Nicholls, who raced through their first round match against Viktoriya Tomova and Sachia Vickery 7-5 6-0 in 61 minutes.
Top seeds Broady and Muhammad, who finished runners-up here last year, broke in the sixth and eighth games to claim the first set and then remained solid on serve in the second, racing to a 3-0 lead and serving out the win in exactly an hour.
“We haven’t played with each other since Wimbledon last year just due to schedules and stuff but Asia’s ranking has shot up since then so I was eager to get back on court with her this week,” explained Broady. “The indoor courts are pretty quick which suits our game style and I thought we played well together today.”
Britain’s Gabriella Taylor and Emily Webley-Smith suffered disappointment when they lost their first round encounter against Robin Anderson and Laura-Ioana Paar 6-4 6-2.