Koolhof / Skupski b. Bolelli / Fognini 6-1 3-6 10-5
Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini stop in the semifinal at the Masters 1000 in Miami. The Italian couple yields to Koolhof and Skupski, as in Indian Wells, when the Dutch and the British won 6-4 6-4. It must be said that Fognini, however, had played almost from a standstill in California, showing that he was not feeling too well so that, the next day, he was forced to retire from the singles match against Basilashvili. This time the match was more close and he remembered the last two matches played by Fabio and Simone (against Dodig / Melo and Delbonis / Gonzalez), in which the Azzurri paid a slow start, then managed to recover in the second set. This time, however, the long tiebreak did not smile to the blueswhich yield 10-5 with some regrets. Fabio and Simone console themselves with third place in the Race: maintaining the continuity of performance seen since the beginning of the year (the title arrived in Rio de Janeiro), a place in the ATP Finals is certainly not a utopia.
THE MATCH – Koolhof starts off well in the service and Bolelli is no exception, churning out two excellent straight which are worth 1-1. In the next game, with Skupski batting, the Italians manage to reach 0-30, with Simone is particularly inspired by cross-country skiing at the start of the match. His nice backhand winning response at 30-30 gives immediately two chances to break ai blues, but an ace from Skupski and a winning volley from Koolhof allow the Anglo-Dutch pair to go 2-1. In the next game, Bolelli and Fognini lose the serve, also due to a rather subdued start of the tennis player from Arma di Taggia, who throws the racket to the ground twice in less than a minute, being pardoned by the chair judge. Koolhof and Skupski win most of the goal exchanges and, ahead 4-1, take advantage of three free Bolelli to operate the double break and close 6-1 a dominated set, topped off by two aces and dal 92% of points won with the former.
It is Fognini who serves first in the second set, managing to keep his game only at killer point and trying to charge himself at the change of court, addressing rather eloquently to Bolelli: “Come on, it can’t always be Easter!“. The reference is probably to the decidedly high level of tennis that Koolhof and Skupski have expressed and continue to show, winning their first two batting games to zero. At 2-2 Fognini returns to serve, who is struggling to impose his rhythm from the bottom but, with some thrills, brings the blue couple to 3-2. The next two games are quickly held at 15 by Bolelli and Skupski and, in the eighth game, it is the 36-year-old from Bologna who drags the champions of the Australian Open 2015 to four consecutive break points. A very clever answer and two excellent Bolelli winners bring the blues at 0-40, immediately finalized by Fognini with a good response and an open field forehand. Forward 5-3, the two Italians go under 0-30, they win a point to say the least daring at 15-30 and win the second set 6-3.
The long tiebreak opens with three minibreaks on as many pointstwo of which granted by Bolelli with two free backhand: the match, basically, is decided here. It runs for the first time with Koolhof and Skupski ahead 4-2 and good, thanks to two excellent firsts from the British, to move up to 6-3. The blues they keep in the slipstream, shortening on 5-6 with a good defense from Fognini who, however, in the next point misses badly from the forehand, at the point that could have been worth thehooking. The two Italians are no longer able to win a point and are unfortunately forced to give up the last two services as well. Ends 6-1 3-6 10-5 in favor of Koolhof and Skupski, who reach the first final in a Masters 1000 together (the Brit had already reached the last act of this tournament last year paired with Daniel Evans, defeated only by Metkic / Pavic). For Fabio and Simone there remains a bit of regret, but Koolhof and Skupski have been more continuous throughout the match, taking his 23rd win of the season in the face of just four defeats. In the final they will face Kokkinakis / Kyrgios or Isner / Hurkaczin search of the fourth triumph of the season after the three ATP250 titles won in Melbourne, Adelaide 2 and Doha.