By Glenys Furness
- Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares make first masters final together.
- Andy Murray & Dom Inglot made the quarter finals
MONTE CARLO, MONACO Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares were edged in a tight three set final by Pierre-Hughes Herbert & Nicolas Mahut. .
Murray & Soares, the Australian Open men’s doubles champions were seeded fourth here and drew Daniel Nestor & Radek Stepanek as their second round challengers. Murray & Soares received a bye into the second round as seeded players.
Nestor & Stepanek kept toe to toe with the Brit/Brazilian pair, and inevitably the set landed in a tiebreak. Nestor & Stepanek kept things tight in the breaker, and edged the fourth seeds 7-5.
The second set was much like the first with neither team giving an inch and once again the set went into a tiebreak. This time it was Murray & Soares who edged the breaker 11-9 taking the chances they had to level the match.
A match tiebreak would ensue to decide the winner. The tiebreak started well for the seeds, and they soon had a minibreak. Nestor & Stepanek pegged them back level again. Murray & Soares had match points on several occasions before being brought back level on the scoreboard.
At 10-10 the non seeds secured a minibreak and had their first match point. The fourth seeds though were not in the mood to go out in their first match, and fought hard to level the score. At 12-12 a breakthrough was finally made by the Brit/Brazilian and they finally secured the in 14-12.
The quarter final saw Murray & Soares face the sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna & Florin Mergea. The fourth seeds had no trouble with the lower seeds in the first set.
Although Bopanna & Mergea created three break point chances, they were all saved by the Brit/Brazilian. Murray & Soares broke twice in the set to take it 6-2.
The second set saw the momentum still with the fourth seeds. Bopanna & Mergea were just not able to do anything with the service games of Murray & Soares, not even creating break point chances.
The Brit/Brazilian pair again broke twice to take the set 6-3 and the match in straight sets in just over the hour mark.
The semi final was a big match for Murray & Soares. They were against the second seeds of Marcelo Melo & Ivan Dodig.
Before the event started there were just five ranking points between Murray and Melo, it was that close for the number one ranking. A win for Murray would not only widen the gap and keep him in the top spot, it would also mark the Brits first ever masters final.
If there was any pressure on Murray, it certainly didn’t show. The fourth seeds saved the only two break points carved out on their serve in the first set, whilst creating six opportunities of their own. Murray & Soares needed only two of the break points to ensure the first set was in their favour 6-2.
Second set saw the second seeds getting into the match, again creating break point chances on the Brit/Brazilian game. Murray however, was not going to be denied and the fourth seeds again saved both.
Eventually Murray & Soares secured the break needed to take the set 6-4 and another match in straight sets. The Brit/Brazilian pair were in their first masters final together and the first ever for the older Murray brother.
In the final Murray & Soares found themselves against Pierre-Hughes Herbert & Nicolas Mahut. The French were in their third masters final in a row, and had won the previous two.
The fourth seeds wanted to end that winning streak and the first set saw this going to plan. Taking the vital break of serve Murray & Soares sealed the set 6-4 and were one set away from the title.
The second set saw Herbert & Mahut begin to show why they had already won two masters titles this year. The French outplayed the fourth seeds, breaking more or less at will. Murray & Soares were not able to hold serve all set as the French took it 6-0 to level up with a bagel.
A match tiebreak would decide the victors of the event. With a lot riding on the outcome on both sides, nerves would be a factor. Although Murray & Soares kept it close in the beginning the French eventually sealed the title 10-6.
Andy Murray and Dominic Inglot edged in semi final
Andy Murray & Dom Inglot paired together in Monte Carlo. The World number two does not play doubles often, usually only for the Davis Cup and then the odd main tour event. Inglot would not have got into the Monte Carlo masters with his usual partner as their ranking was not high enough, so they split for this event.
In the first round the Brits drew Pablo Cuevas & Marcel Granollers. Taking on two of the British Davis Cup team could be daunting, but Murray is ranked a lowly 172 in doubles with Inglot at 35. Cuevas & Granollers are higher ranked individually at 33 & 34, so on ranking alone this should have been the Uruguayan/Spanish team victory.
All went to serve in the first set until the seventh game, this is when the Brits took their break point chance before serving the set out 6-3. It hadn’t been all plain sailing though with Murray & Inglot having to save two break points in the set.
The second set saw the Brits broken for the first time with Inglot double faulting to get broken for the first (and only) time in the match. It didn’t last long though as the Brits soon broke back to seal the win 6-4 and a spot in the next round
The second round Murray & Inglot were up against the seventh seeds, Edouard Roger-Vasselin & Nenad Zimonjic. The Brits did not get off to the best start and found themselves 4-0 down in the first set, playing well the seeds took the set 6-.
Murray & Inglot got themselves together in the second set, breaking the seeds and taking the set 6-3 to level the match.
A match tiebreak would decide who made the quarter final. The Brits didn’t need long to seal this at 10-5 and secure the spot in the quarter final.
In the quarter final, it was Brits v French as Murray & Inglot played Herbert & Mahut. The French were the third seeds, and had progressed to this stage without playing a match.
Having received a bye in the first round, the French were then handed a walkover into the quarter final by the Spaniards Rafael Nadal & Fernando Verdasco. Herbert & Mahut showed that even with this route they were not to be messed with.
Taking the first set with a comfortable break of serve 6-4 the seeds were on their way. The Brits were not going to go quietly though, especially with Murray on the team.
They stepped things up and levelled took the set 6-3 to level the match, once again a match tiebreak would be needed to decide the semi finalists. Murray & Inglot kept fighting, and ran the French close, ultimately though, the seeds edged the breaker 12-10.
Next week Brits are in action in Barcelona, Bucharest, Stuttgart, Nanjing, Turin & Savannah
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