By Ros Satar
- Big brother Jamie Murray scores a win over Andy in their first doubles encounter against each other on the tour
- Both continue their progress at the Montreal Masters, as part of their US Open preparations
MONTREAL, CANADA – Jamie Murray and John Peers edged Andy Murray and Leander Paes in their first senior doubles match up at the Montreal Masters.
It was a far cry from their days as juniors, when Jamie was so fed up with being taunted by his 10-year-old brother who had beaten him for the first time in a junior tournament, he smashed his hand down on brother’s fingernail (it never grew back properly)!
The last time they teamed up, it was undoubtedly Jamie who claimed the honours of being the backbone of the team, as a fatigued Andy struggled to find form in the often pivotal doubles rubber of their Davis Cup quarter-final. The elder Murray had just reached his first Wimbledon men’s doubles semi-final with regular partner Peers, and he shone on the court that day.
The battle was tight, although the match was nervy for obvious reasons. Speaking to ATP.com, Peers said: “It was a little nervy at the start by everyone. Both Jamie and I served well at the start and we just got in a nice rhythm early. Then we got ahead in the tie-break and lucky we were up because we botched a couple. But we finished it off really strong, so that was good.”
The best of the opportunities in the first set fell to the scratch pairing who pressured the seventh seeds on a couple of occasions, but could not convert on the five assorted break points they threw up, before being broken for the set.
A very competitive second set saw neither pairing give much away, with just one solitary break point chance squandered on the way to the tie-break. There the Wimbledon runners-up took an early advantage, swiftly building up a commanding 5-0 lead, before wasting three match points, and even giving away a couple of set points.
Five match points to the good, Murray and Peers prevailed, 6-4 7-6(9).
Jamie said after the match: “It was weird. We’ve only ever played together. It’s weird to not get really pumped up when you play and every time you look down the other side of the net, that’s your brother there. But I think we did well from a team point of view and I think me and Andy did a pretty good job of dealing with the situation, which was obviously not that natural. We’re happy to win.”
Andy went on to describe the match as awkward. Having earlier secured his place in the quarter-finals said: “I always support him to win those matches. The atmosphere is a bit awkward for everyone involved. I don’t want to be fist pumping and getting in Jamie’s face and his partner’s.”
Andy now faces defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated him at the same stage last year, while Jamie and Peers will face Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic.