It was an all Commonwealth affair during the BB&T Atlanta Open’s last semi-final match, as the British pair of Jonathan Marray and Colin Fleming faced off against Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione for a coveted spot in Sunday’s final, with the Brits prevailing 6-4 7-6(6).
The first set was all about service domination, as each team held serve easily up until 4 games all. However, the British team began to up the aggression on their volleys, pressuring the less experienced Guccione into errors. A few minutes later, and the British pair sealed the first set, holding their serve to love for 6-4.
In the second set, however, the Australian team was the aggressor, breaking for a 4-2 lead with some solid returns by the veteran Hewitt. The Aussie lead was short-lived, as the British pair returned to their winning pattern of play: attacking the net play of Chris Guccione.
This strategy worked, as the lanky Australian was continuously handcuffed and unable to handle the barrage of quick shots. After leveling at 4-4, the British duo managed to hold off their Australian counterparts until 6-6, at which point Hewitt and Guccione surged to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak due to sloppy play from the British team.
However, a few loose points from the Australians provided their opponents a glimpse of hope, upon which they capitalized. Several points later and the British team sealed their come-from-behind victory in fitting fashion: with a stunning volley. Fleming and Marray will compete Sunday for their first career title together, having recently lost in June’s Eastbourne final.