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Scotland take silver at Home Nations, Murray makes Madrid semis, Collins reaches W35 final

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Scots come close in multiple events whilst US college players help their teams progress in the 2024 NCAA Championships.

Scotland finish runners-up at Senior Home Nations  

Team Scotland was in action down in Bolton for the 2024 Senior Home Nations Championship. This year’s edition featured 35+, 45+ and 50+ age groups for men and women. 

The opening day saw Scotland take on Wales where all three women’s teams completed a 3-0 sweep of their opponents.  

Meanwhile in the men’s, the 45+ picked up a 3-0 win whilst the 35+ and 50+ teams suffered defeat. 

The next day Scotland were up against Ireland. This time all three men’s teams were victorious with two 2-1 wins and a 3-0 victory. 

The women’s 35+ and 45+ both picked up wins with the only category loss of the day coming in the 50+. 

Going into the final day, it was all to play for as Scotland and England played off to decide who would take home the 2024 Championship trophy. 

Mhairi Beattie, Sarah McFadyen and Claire Paterson rounded out an unbeaten weekend with their 3-0 win in the 35+ whilst the women’s 45+, featuring Eilidh Smith and Jennifer Duncan lost 1-2 in a close tie that saw two match tie-breaks go in England’s favour. 

Heather Lockhart secured a match tie-break win in the 50+ to keep Scotland in it but England emerged victorious in doubles play to win the tie 2-1. 

As for the men, the men’s 35+ lost 1-2, Jamie Hunter was narrowly edged out in a third set, but Robert Dalgetty and Gary Thomson managed to pick up the remaining rubber in the doubles. 

The 45+ men battled England in a close contest that went England’s way 2-1. However, the result would still see Scotland top the group. 

The 50+ men were drawing 1-1 after singles play thanks to a win from Allan Ralston but the deciding doubles match wasn’t played as the title had been decided. 

England were the 2024 Senior Home Nations champions. Scotland won the Women’s 35+, Men’s 45+ and Women’s 45+ age categories but finished as runners-up overall. 

Murray makes Madrid 1000 semi-final 

Jamie Murray found his form on clay last week as he and Michael Venus made a run to the Madrid Open ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals. 

They opened their week by dispatching singles duo Denis Shapovalov and Alexander Bublik 6-3 6-2 in the first round.  

They then downed Benjamin Hassan and Abdullah Shelbayh 6-3 7-6(4) to progress to the quarter-finals. Hassan and Shelbayh had upset fourth seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek in the opening round.  

In the last eight, Murray and Venus faced French duo Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul. The pair lost the first set 0-6 but staged an impressive comeback to win the second 6-4 and used their momentum to clinch the third set tie-break 10-2, securing a spot in the second round. 

In the final four the Scot-Kiwi duo was up against the in form singles pair of Sebastian Korda and Jordan Thomson. It wasn’t to be for Murray and Venus as Korda and Thomson edged them out 6-3 3-6 8-10 to continue their dream run, which would be completed as they took home the title the following day. 

Murray and Venus are back in action this week at the Rome ATP Masters 1000.

Scots progress in 2024 NCAA Championships 

The 2024 NCAA Championships, the pinnacle of the US Division I college season, began over the weekend which saw 64 teams begin their journeys to NCAA glory. 

Out of the sixteen teams to progress, six Scots contributed to their programmes reaching the latter stages of the event. 

Jacob Fearnley was back in action for TCU as they completed a perfect weekend of tennis on home turf to dispatch UC Irvine in the first round and Cornell in the second.  

Jacob was unbeaten over the two days, picking up a singles and doubles win versus UC Irvine and a singles win against Cornell.

Meanwhile in Tallahassee, Jamie Connel was once again tallying up wins for Florida State as he claimed a straight sets win at third position over University of Central Florida in the round of 32. Connel did not feature in the opening round. 

Matt Rankin’s University of Kentucky were also dominant in their opening round as they swept DePaul 4-0 before edging out Illinois 4-3.  

Connor Thomson’s South Carolina posted an impressive weekend as they downed Old Dominion University 4-1 before upsetting fourteenth-seeded North Carolina State 4-3. 

Additionally, college coaches James McKie and Vincent Gillespie steered their teams to the round of 16. McKie, the Associate Head Coach of Tennessee, saw his team sweep East Tennessee and Memphis. Gillespie, the Assistant Coach at Wake Forest, mentored his team past South Carolina State and Arizona State. 

Matches resume this coming weekend where teams will play their round of 16 matches to try and secure a spot in the quarter-finals which will be held in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Ali Collins reaches Nottingham final 

Ali Collins reached her third pro final of the year last week at the W35 Nottingham where she partnered Lauren John-Baptiste to make a deep run.  

Despite losing the first set in the opening round, the top seeds found their groove to find a way past Julie Belgraver and Katarina Stresnakova 3-6 6-3 10-4.  

They then dispatched Klaudija Bubelyte and Hikaru Sato 6-2 6-1 to progress to the final four. 

In the semi-final Collins and John-Baptiste came back from a set down again to outlast third seeds Elena-Teodora Cadar and Diana Marcinkevica 5-7 6-2 10-8, booking their spot in the final. 

The pair were up against second seeds Holly Hutchinson and Ella McDonald. There was little in it, but it was Hutchinson and McDonald who were able to find a way through two tie-breaks, winning the title 7-6(4) 7-6(5). 

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