Photo: Pavel LisovtsevLewis Burton and Marcus Willis (GBR)
They may share their surnames with two Hollywood stars but British duo Lewis Burton and Marcus Willis are fast becoming stars in their own right out on the tennis courts and their great run of form of late is showing no signs of easing up.
The pair, both in their early 20’s, have progressed to the final of their last seven tournaments on the ITF Pro Circuit, claiming the title on four of those occasions. Both players could boast a good doubles pedigree prior to joining forces as a regular partnership in the latter half of 2013. Left-handed Willis, the elder of the two at 23, had notched up eight doubles titles whilst 21-year-old Burton, who turns 22 later this month and plays right-handed, had twelve titles to his name.
It was in the English city of Sheffield during early September 2013 that the first taste of glory came their way in what was only their seventh tournament together since first joining up in 2011. A 61 61 final win saw the pair claim the title in an all-British final and kick-start a chain reaction of impressive performances.
In each of the immediate four weeks following their maiden title triumph, Burton and Willis would find themselves competing for the title with only a close loss on a match tiebreak in the second of three Kuwait based tournaments preventing them from making a clean sweep of titles over this period of play.
Two more finals, both of which were successfully won, would follow for the pair before the year was out leaving them with a year-end record of six titles from seven finals.
This great form has transferred seamlessly into 2014. January has seen them win two of three finals in Israel with a further three finals during February in Thailand yielding one title in the final week after two very close third set losses in the opening weeks of the month.
Both players are now closing in on their personal ATP high rankings for doubles. Willis is currently one place off his best of 272, which he only recently set in mid-February of this year whilst Burton’s August 2012 record of 261 is only ten places off his current ranking of 271.