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Is There an Italian Renaissance in Doubles?

September 28, 2011

At the ATP’s PTT Thailand Open this week, Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini have advanced to the semifinals with a win over Santiago Giraldo and Tobias Kamke.

The Italians are the first team through to the final four there and have been playing quite well together. They won the tournament in Umag over the summer, then went on to make the semifinals of a little Grand Slam I like to call the U.S. Open, taking out a quality team in Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau along the way. Another Italian, Andreas Seppi, also did well in doubles at the Open, advancing to the quarterfinals.

Last week, the team of Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace won the Bucharest event. And on the women’s side, Flavia Pennetta has long been one of the top doubles players out there, winning her first Slam title this year at the Australian Open.

So how is it that Italy has such a strong contingent of doubles players?

I’m not in their heads, but I think the comfort level of playing with a countryman contributes to the success. Many of the men are in the same boat in regard to their singles rankings (no one has cracked the top 15 yet) and they’re all trying to get to the same place. Why not have a contemporary help you get there?

Whatever the case, some strong results have been reached, and it’s good to see all the players hitting the heights together.

(Photo: AP)

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