Skupski: look out for ‘hot’ Polish pair


Originally published on: 18/11/10 09:47

British doubles player Ken Skupski wouldn’t look past the usual suspects for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title, but believes that the Polish duo of Marlusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski could be the dark horses of the doubles competition.

Group A

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan
ATP Ranking: 1st
Qualified: 1st
Titles: (11) Australian Open, Delray Beach, Houston, Masters 1000 Rome, Masters 1000 Madrid, Los Angeles, Masters 1000 Canada, Masters 1000 Cincinnati, US Open, Beijing, Basel
Skupski’s view…
They are the top boys as they consistently produce the results. I think they are great for tennis and are always great to watch.

I have had the chance to play them three times and fortunately beat them once, at Queen’s in 2009, which was a huge win for me and Colin [Fleming], the win really gave us the confidence that we could play at the level that we did last year.

I definitely see the Bryans as the favourites no matter who is playing well, those boys are the top dogs.

Skupski’s prediction: Winners

Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes
ATP Ranking: 4th
Qualified: 3rd
Titles: (1) Masters 1000 Miami
Skupski’s view…
These guys produce the results on the big stage very frequently. They don’t win many tournaments at the 250 level, but when you are talking about Masters Series and at the Grand Slams they are right there every time.

It will be interesting to see how they play together because I don’t think they have had any great results recently because Paes played with Jurgen Melzer (in Shanghai) and Mahesh Bhupathi (in Bangkok) and Dlouhy has played a few different events with a few other players. But I presume that they will come together pretty good.

They are ones to watch but I wouldn’t necessarily see them as a title contender.

Skupski’s prediction:
Group stages

Marlusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski
ATP Ranking: 6th
Qualified: 6th
Titles: (1) Eastbourne
Skupski’s view…
I think when those guys are hot they are almost unbeatable but it is how often they can get hot. They have done well this year. I haven’t followed them exactly but I know they have done well.

I can see them potentially making the final. I still think the Bryans for the title, but Fyrstenberg and Matkowski can definitely go along way if they are playing well but they can easily go three matches without winning.

Skupski’s prediction: Finalists

Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner
ATP Ranking: 12th
Qualified: as Wimbledon champions
Titles: (2) Zagreb, Wimbledon
Skupski’s view…
I am not to sure about them because Petzschner has been injured. They had a great Wimbledon, which was a dream come true for the two guys to win a Grand Slam.

They are definitely a pair that, if they are playing well, could do a lot but I think that with Petzschner being injured and therefore not playing together for a while I don’t see them getting out of their group. Also having not played at The O2 might count against them, so they are long shots.

Skupski’s prediction: Group stages

Group B

Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic

ATP Ranking: 2nd
Qualified: 2nd
Titles: (6) Sydney, Rotterdam, Masters 1000 Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Roland Garros, Vienna
Skupski’s view…
Nestor and Zimonjic have had an indifferent year really. They have not been as good as they were last year, in terms of the amount of tournaments they have won, but they are still very dangerous. They were world No.1 at one point this season and have ended the year pretty solidly.

I think they will be able to produce a good performance at The O2 and it is their last event together – they are splitting up next year and moving on to different partners, so it might be a nice way to end.

Skupski’s prediction: Semis

Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach

ATP Ranking: 5th
Qualified: 4th
Titles: (2) Santiago, Acapulco
Skupski’s view…
They are a solid pair. They actually play slightly different formations. Marach is very good around the net as he gets very tight when Kubot is serving. However they are pretty streaky, they can play a match, where they lose the first set 6-1 and then win the next 6-1, so they are quite up and down at times but if they can put a run together then they have got a good chance. I think they can maybe make the semis.

Skupski’s prediction: Semis or group stages – too tough to call!

Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi
ATP Ranking:  3rd
Qualified: 5th
Titles: (1) Masters 1000 Paris
Skupski’s view…
They have had a good end to the year winning last week’s BNP Paribas Masters title, and have played really well. They had a good clay court season and then they went a little quiet before picking things up towards the end of the year.

A really solid pair which have to be beaten, which isn’t easy so they are definitely capable of getting to probably the semis.

Skupski’s prediction: Group stages

Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman
ATP Ranking:  7th
Qualified: 7th
Titles: (0)
Skupski’s view…
Both 6’6″, 6’7″, they have got two big serves. They are a unique pair to play against, and a tough team to beat.

Skupski’s prediction: Group stages


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.