By Phil James
Andy Murray and Colin Fleming could not quite cap an excellent week in Montreal as they were beaten in the final of the Coupe Rogers men’s doubles.
The Scottish pair were beaten on the Canadian hard courts by the third seeds, Austrian Alexander Peya and Brazilian Bruno Soares, 6-4, 7-6(4).
Britain’s top singles player and top doubles player only decided to enter the tournament at the last minute after Fleming and Jonny Marray narrowly missed out on qualifying through their rankings, and it is not likely to be a repeat pairing.
Judy Murray tweeted that the pair, best friends since a young age, had not played together since August 1997 at an under 14’s tournament in Swansea.
— judy murray (@judmoo) August 11, 2013
— I Love Andy Murray (@Iloveandymurray) August 11, 2013
However they ripped through the draw in Montreal defeating the fourth, fifth and sixth seeded teams en route to the final against Peya and Soares.
In those respective victories over Leander Paes/Radek Stepanek, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi/Jean-Julien Rojer and Robert Lindstedt/Daniel Nestor, Murray and Fleming did not drop a set.
The only set Murray and Fleming had dropped in the tournament was against last week’s Citi Open Champions, Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic, in round one, when they fought back from a set and a break down to win.
However the Austrian-Brazilian pairing are second in the team rankings, only behind the Bryan Brothers and have had an excellent year.
As the more established doubles team, they showed a lot more co-ordination and aggression in today’s final, especially for the first set and a half.
On paper, Andy Murray was the real class on the court but his normally excellent return game was not at its best and it was the Wimbledon Champion who suffered the only break of the first set.
The third seeds wrapped up the set 6-4 and were immediately up in the second, this time breaking Fleming in the first game.
Murray was struggling to impose himself while the Scottish pair seemed to be staying at the baseline too often and when at 2-4 Murray was forced to deuce, deciding point, it was a virtual match point.
But the singles world number two held on and then Murray and Fleming earned their first break point of the match in the next game.
Peya received a time violation warning serving at 30-15 and two double faults ensued, the second on break point, and the Brits were back in the match.
It was almost a complete turnaround as a game later they fought back from 40-0 to deuce on Soares’ serve to make it deciding point and set point.
The Brazilian held however and two games later they were in a second-set tie-break, and were soon down a mini-break as Soares punished a short Murray second serve.
A Fleming double fault helped Soares and Peya earn a 6-2 lead and four match points with it.
Though the Brits saved the first two, the third seeds took the third to take the match in 92 minutes, and with it the title.
It was the first Masters 1000 title for both Soares and Peya, who individually are ranked eighth and sixth in the doubles rankings.
It was the fourth title of the year for the pair playing together, while Soares also won the Heineken Open in January with the same Colin Fleming he faced today.
Today was the fourth time since that tournament that Fleming has faced Soares across the net in doubles, and the Brazilian has now won all four.
Despite the defeat, Murray will take away from the week some good hard court practice after he was eliminated in the third round of the singles.
And for Fleming, the 600 ranking points which will take him from his current ranking of 28th to his career high when rankings are announced on Monday, which may be some consolation after losing his first ever Masters series final.
The points come too late however to earn him entrance into next week’s Masters 1000 W&S Open in Cincinnati, which features no Brits in the men’s doubles.
Thanks for all the nice messages and support this week. Not to be today but a week I will never forget!
— Colin Fleming (@colin_fleming) August 11, 2013