Jamie Mur­ray: Bruno’s a bet­ter dou­bles part­ner than Andy

Two-times grand slam dou­bles win­ner says chem­istry is bet­ter with Brazil­ian

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - HAY­LEY MILNE

US OPEN cham­pion Jamie Mur­ray says his dou­bles chem­istry with Bruno Soares is even bet­ter than with his brother Andy.

Mur­ray and Soares won their sec­ond grand slam ti­tle of the year on Satur­day as they beat Spain’s Pablo Car­reno Busta and Guillermo Gar­cia-Lopez in Flush­ing Mead­ows.

The Bri­tish-Brazil­ian duo sealed their first ma­jor tri­umph at the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary and their suc­cess in New York means they have a chance of fin­ish­ing 2016 as the num­ber one part­ner­ship in the world.

Mur­ray now turns his at­ten­tion to Bri­tain’s Davis Cup semi-fi­nal against Ar­gentina on Fri­day, when he is likely to play with younger brother Andy in the dou­bles rub­ber.

The sib­lings led Bri­tain to Davis Cup glory last year for the first time in 79 years but Jamie be­lieves his part­ner­ship with Soares is per­haps even stronger.

“It prob­a­bly is eas­ier to play with Bruno, like we talk more,” Mur­ray said.

“Andy’s a great player. But I think Bruno and I are with each other ev­ery day. We are work­ing on our games and com­mu­ni­cat­ing all the time.

“I find it easy to do that with Bruno. Ob­vi­ously some­times with Andy it’s not al­ways so easy be­cause great play­ers, they do things the way they do.

“If I kind of come in and start say­ing, ‘I think you need to serve there or hit your re­turn there’, they are not used to hear­ing that. That can be a bit prob­lem­atic some­times.

“I think for me and Bruno we are kind of on an even keel and both have the same goal.”

Mur­ray linked up with Soares at the start of the year af­ter split­ting with Aus­tralian John Peers, with whom he had reached con­sec­u­tive grand slam fi­nals but lost at the fi­nal hur­dle.

Soares brings base­line sta­bil­ity to Mur­ray’s bril­liance at the net and the Scot said he hopes their part­ner­ship will con­tinue.

“Yeah, of course,” Mur­ray said, be­fore Soares added with a smile: “I hope so, I can’t do much more to keep him with me.”

Mur­ray con­tin­ued: “Look, we had the best year of our ca­reer, what­ever way you look at it.

“Nei­ther of us had won a grand slam be­fore and then we came to­gether and we have won two. So, yeah, of course, I could never dis­agree with that.”

Mur­ray be­comes the first Bri­tish player to win the US Open dou­bles since Roger Tay­lor in 1972 and Soares is the first from the Brazil to lift the tro­phy.

They have en­dured dis­ap­point­ments, how­ever, most no­tably at Wim­ble­don where they lost in the third round and, sep­a­rately, at the Olympics. Jamie lost in the first round in Rio with Andy, while Soares was beaten in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

“We have been good friends for a long time, me and Jamie. We get along su­per well,” Soares said.

“For me, it’s very im­por­tant to get along off court. I can’t do this well with some­one that I don’t get along well with.

“We have had an amaz­ing year but we lost some­times, some tough ones and with match points.

“You’ve got to be able to go to din­ner with the guy af­ter a tough loss and talk like friends. We get spe­cial mo­ments like this, but we have bru­tal mo­ments as well, so it’s im­pos­si­ble to do that with­out a friend.”

Mean­while, An­gelique Ker­ber in­sists she can cope with the pres­sure of be­ing US Open cham­pion and world No.1.

Ker­ber out­lasted Karolina Pliskova in the fi­nal on Satur­day to clinch her sec­ond grand slam ti­tle of the year, af­ter win­ning her first at the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary.

The 28-year-old also climbs above Ser­ena Wil­liams on Mon­day to be­come world No.1, with the Amer­i­can’s 186-week reign at the top ended by her de­feat to Pliskova in the semi-fi­nals.

Caro­line Woz­ni­acki, who lost to Ker­ber in the last four, said her op­po­nent’s suc­cess would put “a tar­get on her back”, but the Ger­man is con­fi­dent she can han­dle the pres­sure.

“I’m ready to have this pres­sure on my shoul­ders,” Ker­ber said. “I think I get used to all of this, es­pe­cially af­ter my first grand slam in Aus­tralia. I had so much pres­sure af­ter the ti­tle.

“To be No.1 of course now ev­ery­body will try to beat me and they have noth­ing to lose. I will try to take this chal­lenge be­cause it will be a lit­tle bit of a new sit­u­a­tion for me.

“But in the end, I was al­ways prac­tis­ing and work­ing hard to be num­ber one, now I can also take the next step and try to stay there as long as I can.”

If Wil­liams can over­come a knee in­jury, the 22-time ma­jor cham­pion could re­claim top spot this au­tumn given she has very few rank­ing points to de­fend af­ter hardly fea­tur­ing at the end of last year.

None the less, Ker­ber has emerged as a le­git­i­mate ri­val to the 34-year-old’s dom­i­nance, hav­ing be­come the first woman, apart from Wil­liams, to win two grand slams in a cal­en­dar year since Jus­tine Henin in 2007.

HAPPY TO­GETHER: Jamie Mur­ray and Bruno Soares have won two grand slams in their year as dou­bles part­ners.

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