Australian Open Preview: Over to the doubles

On the day that Jo Konta finished her epic second round defeat at 3:12am, all British hopes now lie with the doubles. As expected, the majority of Brits made it through to the second round of the doubles and that’s where our attention heads, as we look to tomorrow’s action.

Dom Inglot & Franko Skugor vs Taro Daniel & John Millman

After their match was delayed a day due to Taro Daniel’s singles match on Thursday, tenth seeds Dom Inglot and Franko Skugor finally get their campaign underway. They enter the tournament on the back of three-successive defeats, having won just one of their last seven sets of tennis.

Their opponents haven’t played together since 2016 and it is a good draw for Inglot to get off the mark in 2019. Neither Taro Daniel or John Millman are doubles specialist (putting it lightly), and the Brit should be capable of eliminating the pair. Millman will have recovered from Wednesday’s marathon five-set loss, but Taro Daniel will be recovering from a tough loss to Denis Shapovalov.

Verdict: Inglot and Skugor to win in two sets

Ken & Neal Skupski vs Henri Kontinen & John Peers

The Skupskis have been rewarded from a battling opening round display with a match-up against experienced twelfth seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers. Opening up play on Court 3, the Skupskis have nothing to lose in their second round match-up.

It will be tough, for sure. Kontinen and Peers needed just one hour in their opening round match, as their opponents retired at 6-3 4-1. However, they haven’t won a completed match since August 2018, enduring seven successive defeats. Their last defeat? To Neal Skupski, partnering Kyle Edmund in Brisbane.

Can the Brits add another significant victory to their back catalogue?

Verdict: The Skupskis in three set.

Harriet Dart & Anett Kontaveit vs Johanna Larsson and Kirsten Flipkens

Harriet Dart has had a tremendous season so far, and she is starting to earn the recognition she deserves. After battling past Kimberley Birrell and Priscilla Hon, Dart and her partner Kontaveit face much sterner opposition in the 13th seeds Larsson and Flipkens.

The recent Hobart finalists defeated the experienced Timea Bacsinszky and Vera Zvonareva in the opening round, and will extremely tough opponents for the Brit. However, if we have learnt anything about Harriet Dart over the last month, it’s that she won’t go down without a fight.

Will the dream run continue?

Verdict: Larsson and Flipkens in two sets.

Image: Keith Allison

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