Murray has doubles vision as he advances with Mattek-sands
One US Open quarter-final reached, another to aim for today – it has been a profitable week in New York for Jamie Murray so far.
Yesterday, he and Bethanie Mattek-sands played well, laughed quite a lot and disposed of the spirited challenge of Abigail Spears of the United States and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Columbia 6-4, 7-6 to reach the last eight in the mixed doubles.
Today, he and Bruno Soares, the US Open champions of 2016, will take on Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop (probably with a bit less giggling) to see if he can match that feat in the men’s doubles. Matteksands only returned to the tour in March after six months away recovering from a serious knee injury sustained at Wimbledon last summer. Always a character on tour, she arrived on court yesterday in a floral cap, striped skirt, white knee-socks and pink and white shoes – and she covered the court as if she and her knee did not have a care in the world.
“You put some sprints in in that match – bloody hell,” Murray, pictured, said admiringly. “That was epic.”
Their partnership seems based on mutual admiration: Mattek-sands does spend a lot of her time cheering from the back of the court while Murray flings himself around at the net.
“Jamie’s hands at net are unreal,” she said. “Really, when I’m at the baseline watching him do his magic at net, it’s fun for me.” Since he left Wimbledon, beaten in the men’s doubles quarter-finals and the mixed doubles final (he was partnering Victoria Azarenka in July), Murray has lost only one match. He and Soares won the titles in Washington and Cincinnati on their way to New York and on Saturday evening, they brushed aside Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4. The only blot on their copy book this summer was a first-round loss in Toronto but that just spurred them on to work even harder.
“Hard courts have always been our best surface, our best time of year where we’ve had our best results,” Murray said. “We came into the hard court season full of confidence and we played a lot of good stuff in Washington.
“Toronto was a bit disappointing and then we worked really hard for the next four or five days to try to right a few wrongs and make sure we were ready for Cincinnati and that really paid off for us. We played really well there – beat a lot of really good teams. We’ve done well, we’ve done some good stuff and we just need to keep it rolling.”