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SKUPSKI BROTHERS CLAIM BUDAPEST TITLE

Brits Neal Skupski and Ken Skupski made four ATP Tour finals together over the past 10 months, falling short of lifting the title on each occasion. But the brothers would not be denied on Sunday, defeating New Zealand’s Marcus Daniell and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof 6-3, 6-4 to win the Hungarian Open for their second team title.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. We’ve been in a few finals over the past 12 months and we haven’t been able to get over the line,” Neal said. “It’s our first title on clay together at an ATP 250. It’s been a great week and hopefully we could keep on going heading into the French Open.”

The Skupski brothers also triumphed together last February in Montpellier. This is Ken’s fifth tour-level trophy and Neal’s third. Ken is seven years Neal’s elder. And while Ken noted that sometimes losing could be tougher when sharing the court with a sibling, it makes winning even sweeter.

“It’s the best thing in the world to share winning things with your brother,” Ken said. “You can get over things when you lose and you move on, but winning is so much more special.”

Skupski/Skupski were clutch on serve in their 71-minute win, saving all four break points they faced. They earned 75 per cent of their service points compared to just 60 per cent for Daniell and Koolhof.

“I think we played lights-out, really. I think it was probably our best match of the week, in very tough conditions. It was very windy so we thought [of aiming for] bigger targets, a lot of first serves,” Neal said. “We just kept putting the pressure on. Putting the pressure on in the wind is a very good thing to do and it obviously worked.”

The Skupski brothers leave Budapest with 250 ATP Doubles Ranking points each and a share of €29,650. They will be the third seeds next week in Munich.

This was Daniell and Koolhof’s third ATP Tour final as a pair, having won in Brisbane this year and finished runner-up in Stockholm in 2018. The Kiwi-Dutch team adds 150 points each and a split of €15,200.