By Ros Satar, in Madrid
- Bob & Mike Bryan  def. Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares  6-4 6-7(4) 10-7
- Slow start to the clay court season as they look to defend Roland Garros quarter-final points
MADRID, SPAIN – Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares fell short of reaching the Madrid Masters quarter-finals for the second year in a row, at the hands of Bob & Mike Bryan.
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Bob & Mike Bryan  def. Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares  6-4 6-7(4) 10-7
For the top doubles teams this week, it can be a long wait before they get their campaigns underway at the Mutua Madrid Open.With a shot at the semi-finals on the line from last year, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares came up against a perfect storm of Bob and Mike Bryan.
Murray said: “Well we didn’t finish the points at the end of the match when we had the chance. The guys made some great defence and that was that.”
Murray and Soares defended their Acapulco title earlier this year but have yet to replicate their first season together where they book-ended the year with Slam titles at the Australian Open and the US Open, in 2016, and after the loss here the frustration was evident despite finally getting a clay court win under their belts this season.
He continued: “We’re not here to win one match, or two or whatever. We try to win the tournament. We lost a couple of close matches the other week. We got through a close one yesterday, we lost a close one today – fine margins”
The Brit has been dealing with a knee niggle since their early exit in Australia but said it was fine and getting better – but clay is a demanding surface, and the altitude of Madrid means time needed to get used to the conditions.
Murray said: “I mean we should have no excuses by the time you start playing. We have a bye, we know we’re going to start playing on Wednesday or Thursday. We choose to come here to practice. At home it’s crap practice and here it’s altitude.”
With nothing to defend in Rome after an opening exit in the second-round last year, the build-up will be on to defend their quarter-final points in Roland Garros.
Murray continued: “We played a couple of good matches this week. We played a really good match in Monte Carlo that we managed to lose, so think things are on the track. You know these are the toughest tournaments in the world – Masters series – playing best singles players, best doubles players. With the set-up that we play, the margins are so small.”
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‘Andy’s goal is to get back to playing tennis’
Both Johanna Konta and Kyle Edmund, along with Jamie Murray will be once more the British No. 1s in the frame as the second Slam of the year as focus turns to the conclusion of the European clay court season.
Of all three players, perhaps our best hope of success, or at the very least a showing in the second week on current form is Edmund, who goes in his first Masters quarter-final on Friday.
Both Konta and Edmund emphasised that Murray’s return, when it happens, will be welcome, with Konta acknowledging that even with her run to the Wimbledon semi-final at the time it was becoming evident that all was not well with the hip of Murray junior.
Murray (the elder) could shed no more light on the concerns playing out earlier this week as to a potential delay to the three-time Slam champion:
“I don’t know how he’s getting on honestly, I’m really not sure. I know he just wants to get back playing tennis. that’s his goal.”
Earlier in the week Konta, partnering Zhang Shuai reached the quarter-finals.
Konta, Edmund and Jamie Murray are all scheduled to continue their clay court seasons at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia
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