19 Feb 2018

Reboul claims title in Great Britain

News Article

By Abigail Johnson

Photo: Abigail JohnsonFabien Reboul (FRA)

SHREWSBURY, GREAT BRITAIN: An enthralling week of tennis at the GB Pro-Series Shrewsbury ended in dramatic fashion when France's Fabien Reboul won the singles trophy, with British duo Scott Clayton and Marcus Willis stealing the show in doubles.

This was 22-year-old Reboul's first Futures title of the season and the third of his career, with top seeds Willis and Clayton claiming their maiden trophy as a team.

Unseeded 22-year-old Fabien Reboul was part of a close contest on Saturday when he beat 7th seed Maximilian Neuchrist to win the singles title. The Frenchman stormed out of the blocks with powerful intensity to grab a 64 opening set win, before Neuchrist capitalised on his opponent's nerves to level. The clash went down to the wire before the Frenchman sealed a 64 36 76(3) triumph, finishing the match with 16 aces in total.

Reboul upset 3rd seed Filip Horansky in the first round in Shrewsbury, and won two of the three tiebreaks he contested throughout the week.

"I played a lot of good matches here," Reboul reflected. "Today it was not my best match, but the final is very tough and the tennis was very aggressive. I gave my best and I am so happy to win."

The stands were packed for the final match of the week at The Shrewsbury Club, and Reboul was quick to credit the support he received.

"The people are very nice and I love the courts here – they make good moments with a lot of people watching the match," he enthused.

"I love it here, it's a very nice tournament. The club is very nice, it has a good fitness [facility] which is very important for players. The hotel and the food was great. I felt really good here."

The world no. 449 at the start of the tournament will be hoping to capitalise on his recent success in the coming weeks.

"I don't think about the prize money – the most important thing for me is to improve my ranking and to play some Challengers, and maybe qualify for a Grand Slam," Reboul revealed. "But I just try my best every week, try to improve my game. We will see what happens."

Scott Clayton and Marcus Willis (GBR)The doubles final was played  a day earlier on the Friday, with Willis and Clayton facing former Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Nielsen and Finland's Harri Heliovaara. The British duo broke serve in the second game of the match and never looked back, saving all ten break points they faced en route to a 62 75 victory.

Willis, 27, reached the singles final in Shrewsbury last season, while 24-year-old Clayton won the doubles title alongside Luke Johnson.

"We've known each other for a long time, so we knew what each other was good at," Clayton said. "I think the result shows that we complimented each other really well. It was great that we could get the final win."

The top seeds had been forced to save two match points during their semifinal showdown with Joris De Loore and Yannick Mertens – both with second serves.

"We actually lost the first set because I hit a double fault," Willis reflected of that encounter. "I didn't really commit to it, so I just said if we're going to go out then I'm going stay aggressive. It's important to do that."

He continued: "We've both got very good serves, and I think trusting them on big points is important. And today we weren't passive at all. As 'Rocky' here said, we complement each other well and I think we played pretty well."