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James Cluskey (born 18 August 1986) is a retired Irish professional tennis player, mainly playing doubles. He was born in Dublin, Ireland[1] and attended Belvedere College along with fellow Irish tennis player James McGee. Cluskey was, for some time, the highest ranked Irish doubles player.[2] Cluskey retired from professional tennis in November 2015.[3]

James Cluskey
Country (sports) Ireland
ResidenceDublin, Republic of Ireland
Born (1986-08-18) 18 August 1986 (age 33)
Dublin, Ireland
Height1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Turned pro2009
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$48,141
Singles
Career record0–0
Career titles0 ATP
Highest rankingNo. 801 (5 November 2007)
Doubles
Career record1–7
Career titles0 ATP
Highest rankingNo. 145 (9 September 2013)
Current rankingNo. 192 (18 August 2014)
Last updated on: 18 August 2014.

CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

In 2004, Cluskey won the Irish under-18 singles championship. He also reached the final of the men's doubles and won the mixed doubles at the national championships.[4] He then took the decision in 2005 to move to the United States, where he played college tennis for Louisiana State University. He had a successful four years there where he achieved a national doubles ranking of 3 with partner Ken Skupski.[4] In total he won 82 doubles and 57 singles matches in college tennis.[4]

Cluskey played his first futures event in Limerick in June 2006. He reached the quarter-finals of the doubles with university teammate Ken Skupski and also qualified for the main draw of the singles, reaching the second round.[5] His form earned him a call up to the Irish Davis Cup team for their match against Slovenia where he narrowly lost a tense five set match in the doubles rubber.[6] He continued playing futures during the summer months when he was not attending university. He won his first ever Challenger level match in 2008 at the Shelbourne Irish Open, partnering Colin O'Brien.[5]

2010Edit

In 2010 Cluskey started to make his first breakthroughs at futures level. He won his first doubles tournament in Eilat[5] partnering Michael Venus, who he had played with at university.[4] He then went on to win a further three futures events that year, in Edinburgh, Dublin and Jūrmala, partnering compatriot Colin O'Brien.[5]

2011Edit

Cluskey's ranking enabled him to enter a couple of Challenger tournaments at the start of 2011. After a couple of disappointing results he won his first doubles title of 2011 in March in a futures event in Vaduz and followed that up with another title the following week in Taverne.[5] He went from strength to strength in 2011 and won a further two futures titles, along with reaching six finals. His best run came in October where he reached five consecutive finals at futures events, all of which were in France.[5] He partnered Jean Andersen in three of these finals although they only won one of them. Cluskey was also runner-up in the other two. This form saw Cluskey again enter a couple of Challengers at the end of the year, in Loughborough and Salzburg but again his form was poor, going out in the first round of both.

2012Edit

2012 again saw a slow start to the year for Cluskey, but he managed to turn his fortunes around and take another doubles title in a futures event in Cividino. In May, he then went on to finally have some success at Challenger level, reaching the semi-finals of the Status Athens Open with Frenchman Fabrice Martin. Cluskey and Martin went on to have further success that year, winning futures events in Palma del Río and Bagnères-de-Bigorre, as well as making the quarter finals of the Guzzini Challenger and the semi finals of the President's Cup.[5] Cluskey also had some success with other partners, reaching the semi finals of the Türk Telecom İzmir Cup with Matwé Middelkoop. Cluskey's form this year also some him break into the top 200 of the ATP doubles rankings for the first time in his career in mid-September.[7]

2013Edit

Cluskey started 2013 in the same excellent form he had finished 2012 in. By now he was focusing solely on doubles and he reached four consecutive futures finals in his first four tournaments of the year, although he only won one of them.[5] This form saw him mainly playing on the Challenger Tour by April instead of the futures tournaments he was used to playing. His form at this level was poor though and he regularly exited in the first round of tournaments. As costs began to mount up he was beginning to consider quitting tennis[8] until he spectacularly turned his from round by teaming up with old partner Fabrice Martin to win the PTT Cup. It was the first time either of them had won a title at challenger level.[5] Cluskey then followed up this success only two weeks later, this time winning the Guimarães Open with Maximillian Neuchrist. These two tournament wins gave Cluskey a new found belief that he could go on to have a successful career in tennis[8] as he rose to a new career high ranking. His good form continued into the next couple of months as he won two more futures events and reached the final of the American Express – TED Open.

2014Edit

Cluskey's form saw him recalled to the Irish Davis Cup team for the first time since 2011.[9] He teamed up with David O'Hare and they nearly pulled off a shock result against Alexander Bury and former world number one doubles player Max Mirnyi, losing in five sets after having had match points in the fourth.[10] Cluskey then went on to reach the final of a futures event in Nottingham with Liam Broady. In April, Cluskey won his first ever Davis Cup rubber, as Ireland overcame Egypt for a 3-2 victory.[11] Clsukey continued to play with a variety of partners and his form began to improve in late May, having struggled earlier in the year, where he reached the semifinals of Karshi Challenger. He then also reached the semifinals of the Prague Open. In July, partnering Mikhail Kukushkin, he made the cut for his first ever ATP World Tour event - the Swedish Open. They were defeated in their opening match by fourth seeds Brunström and Monroe.[12] Cluskey then reached the final of the Guzzini Challenger with Lithuanian Laurynas Grigelis but they were defeated in the final set match tie-break.[13] He failed to continue this form in the following week as he lost in the quarter-finals of the Tampere Open with partner Darren Walsh. After back-to-back first-round exits in Segovia and Prague, Cluskey recovered to reach the semi-finals of the Maserati Challenger with Miguel Ángel Reyes-Varela.

Davis CupEdit

Cluskey has represented the Irish Davis Cup team on eight separate occasions since his first appearance in 2006. He has only competed in doubles for his country and so far has only won one rubber, holding a 1-7 record. His last appearance was in 2014.[6]

Doubles titlesEdit

Legend (Doubles)
Grand Slam (0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0)
ATP World Tour 500 (0)
ATP World Tour 250 (0)
ATP Challenger Tour (2)
ITF Futures (14)

Wins (16)

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score
1. 13 February 2010 Eilat, F3 Hard   Michael Venus   Alexander Bury
  Pavel Katliarov
6-7(3), 6-3, [15-13]
2. 9 May 2010 Edinburgh, F6 Clay   Colin O'Brien   Barry King
  Marcus Willis
6-3, 6-3
3. 24 July 2010 Dublin, F1 Carpet   Colin O'Brien   Colin Ebelthite
  Barry King
6-2, 7-6(1)
4. 21 August 2010 Jūrmala, F1 Clay   Colin O'Brien   Jakub Lustyk
  David Novak
2-6, 6-3, [14-12]
5. 26 March 2011 Vaduz, F2 Carpet   Fabrice Martin   Piotr Gadomski
  Tim Van Terheijden
7-6(2), 6-4
6. 2 April 2011 Taverne, F3 Carpet   Claudio Grassi   Erik Crepaldi
  Piotr Gadomski
6-2, 6-1
7. 4 June 2011 Ashkelon, F6 Hard   John Paul Fruttero   Noam Behr
  Igor Smilansky
6-3, 6-0
8. 2 October 2011 Forbach, F16 Carpet   Jean Andersen   Michael Bois
  Kevin Botti
5-7, 6-1, [10-3]
9. 30 March 2012 Cividino, F2 Hard   Purav Raja   Andrea Agazzi
  Enrico Iannuzzi
6-7(10), 6-4, [10-2]
10. 30 June 2012 Palma del Río, F18 Hard   Fabrice Martin   Gerard Granollers
  Andoni Vivanco-Guzman
6-3, 6-4
11. 8 September 2012 Bagnères-de-Bigorre, F15 Hard   Fabrice Martin   Charles-Antoine Brézac
  Simon Cauvard
6-7(4), 7-5, [11-9]
12. 12 January 2013 Schwieberdingen, F1 Hard   Alexander Satschko   Dominique Maden
  Yannick Maden
6-0, 6-1
13. 14 July 2013 Istanbul Hard   Fabrice Martin   Brydan Klein
  Ruan Roelofse
3-6, 6-3, [10-5]
14. 28 July 2013 Guimarães Hard   Maximilian Neuchrist   Roberto Ortega-Olmedo
  Ricardo Villacorta-Alonso
6-7(5), 6-2, [10-8]
15. 23 August 2013 Minsk, F2 Hard   Fabrice Martin   Andrei Ciumac
  Volodymyr Uzhylovskyi
6-3, 6-4
16. 31 August 2013 Pozoblanco, F28 Hard   Maximilian Neuchrist   Ivan Arenas-Gualda
  Jose Checa-Calvo
6-3, 6-2

Runner-up (15)

No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score
1. 18 June 2010 Kelibia, F3 Hard   Colin O'Brien   Laurent Rochette
  Mikhail Vasiliev
3-6, 6-1, [6-10]
2. 23 July 2011 Dublin, F1 Carpet   James McGee   Albano Olivetti
  Neal Skupski
6-7(4), 3-6
3. 18 September 2011 Mulhouse, F14 Hard   Fabrice Martin   Pierre-Hugues Herbert
  Albano Olivetti
3-6, 4-6
4. 9 October 2011 Nevers, F17 Hard   Alexandre Sidorenko   Kevin Botti
  Laurent Rochette
6-7(3), 3-6
5. 14 October 2011 Saint-Dizier, F18 Hard   Sam Barry   Holger Fischer
  Jan Mertl
4-6, 5-7
6. 23 October 2011 La Roche-sur-Yon, F19 Hard   Jean Andersen   Jeremy Blandin
  Gleb Sakharov
6-7(2), 6-3, [7-10]
7. 29 October 2011 Rodez, F20 Hard   Jean Andersen   Pierre-Hugues Herbert
  Albano Olivetti
4-6, 3-6
8. 16 June 2012 Martos, F16 Hard   Sam Barry   Iván Arenas-Gualda
  Jaime Pulgar-García
6-7(4), 6-7(7)
9. 11 October 2012 Saint-Dizier, F20 Hard   Alexandre Sidorenko   Antoine Benneteau
  Nicolas Renavand
5-7, 4-6
10. 19 January 2013 Stuttgart-Stammheim, F2 Hard   Alexander Satschko   Philipp Marx
  Florin Mergea
2-6, 2-6
11. 27 January 2013 Bressuire, F2 Hard   Goran Tošić   Pierre-Hugues Herbert
  Nicolas Renavand
2-6, 6-7(7)
12. 8 February 2013 Wirral, F4 Hard   Sean Thornley   Lewis Burton
  Neal Skupski
6-7(5), 6-2, [7-10]
13. 9 March 2013 Lille, F4 Hard   Lewis Burton   Jonathan Eysseric
  Nicolas Renavand
7-6(3), 6-7(5), [5-10]
14. 15 September 2013 Istanbul-2 Hard   Adrián Menéndez-Maceiras   Jamie Delgado
  Jordan Kerr
3-6, 2-6
15. 21 February 2014 Nottingham, F5 Hard   Liam Broady   Remi Boutillier
  Quentin Halys
2-6, 6-0, [8-10]
16. 19 July 2014 Recanati Hard   Laurynas Grigelis   Ilija Bozoljac
  Goran Tošić
7-5, 4-6, [5-10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "James Cluskey". ATP World Tour. 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  2. ^ "ATP Doubles Rankings". ATP World Tour. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  3. ^ Tennis is asking for trouble if you allow betting on Futures matches
  4. ^ a b c d "James Cluskey Bio". LSUsports.net. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "CLUSKEY, James (IRL)". ITF Tennis. 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Player profile - James CLUSKEY (IRL)". Davis Cup. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  7. ^ "James Cluskey – ATP Emirets Ranking History". ATP World Tour. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Never say die: How 2 big wins gave James Cluskey a new hope". Thescore.ie. 8 August 2013. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  9. ^ http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/ireland-miss-leading-trio-as-belarus-ease-ahead-29969729.html
  10. ^ http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/other-sports/doubles-pairing-cheer-cahill-257476.html
  11. ^ http://www.rte.ie/sport/tennis/2014/0406/607017-ireland-lead-against-egypt-in-davis-cup/
  12. ^ http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/09/atp-world-tour-skistar-swedish-open-results/
  13. ^ "Bozoljac e Tosic vincono la finale di doppio". Guzzini Challenger. 19 July 2014. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.

External linksEdit