Jamie Murray wants to add the Wimbledon gentlemen’s doubles title to the two mixed triumphs he has already achieved at The Championships and believes he has at least another “six or seven” years to make that dream come true.
Jamie, like younger brother Andy, already has two replica trophies from The Championships thanks to his mixed doubles victories with Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and tennis legend Martina Hingis at the 2017 tournament. Jamie and Martina followed up that popular win by clinching the US Open mixed title and despite a perfect 10-0 record as double act, their partnership is now over as the Swiss superstar has decided to retire from the sport having won 25 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles and mixed.
It meant Jamie headed to the Australian Open in Melbourne looking for a new mixed partner to try and make it three successive Slam titles. He would like a regular mixed partner to enable him to launch a strong defence of the Wimbledon title although his partnership with Bruno Soares, of Brazil, remains the most important in his tennis life. They have already won the Australian and US Open titles and qualified for the end of season championships in London as the No.3 doubles team in the sport.
Despite losing in the second round in 2017, the pair's continued success offers Jamie a real chance of making his Wimbledon dream come true.
“Is winning Wimbledon my biggest goal for 2018? Of course it is and I am not going to lie to myself about that to keep things calmer going into the tournament," admitted Murray. "It will be the biggest goal of my career until I hopefully win it.
“Bruno and I will be playing next year and in terms of Wimbledon, I don’t think we put too much pressure on ourselves having won Halle and Queen’s coming into the Championships. Wimbledon is a huge goal for both of us and you need to treat it like that which we did winning those two tournaments on grass. We lost a close five set match against a good team – it wasn’t a loss to mugs!
“I could potentially play for another seven or eight years – body permitting – and that is the nature of doubles because except for the Slams there isn’t the endurance element. I am still young in doubles terms even though I have been playing on the tour for some time and someone like Daniel Nestor didn’t start to dominate in doubles until he was 33 or 34 and he has won lots of titles. If I stay healthy and continue to work on developing my game and partnership with Bruno, then a lot of good things can happen in the coming years.
“The Wimbledon men’s doubles final was the best of any of the finals in the tournament this year in terms of competitiveness and doubles is getting more attention during the year. The level is really high at the moment and getting better all the time with no pair really dominating the tour as the Bryan brothers did for a time. The majority of people who play tennis play doubles and can relate to the sport and it has a good fan base and is growing with the different reflexes and reactions compared to singles."
Jamie, 31, thoroughly enjoyed his time alongside Martina and he believes the multi-titled former champion in singles and doubles was a unique talent and will be missed.
“Martina told me after we won Wimbledon that it was probably going to be her last Championships and then at the US Open she was pretty convinced it was her last year and so her decision wasn’t a shock to me. After the final in New York she was hesitant about her future and no one really called her out over it and ask if she was stopping.
“I don’t have a partner for the Australia Open at the moment but I am sure I will find someone and it would be nice to play with the same person during the year but people do chop and change. It was an amazing experience to play with her at Wimbledon and then New York. She is such an incredible player and a real legend of the game it was a great experience.
"The stuff she can do on the court is amazing and what I learnt most from Martina was her mentality and when she needed a point at an important moment then you felt her concentration and focus increase by 1000 per cent. Her attitude was 'I am going to do whatever it takes to win this point'.
“You don’t have the career she has had without that competitiveness and ability to play under pressure in the big moments. We had both played doubles throughout our career but she made it so easy to play with because she knows what the right shot is to play at that moment. Not a lot of women or men could play some of those shots because of her incredible talent and it made my job a lot easier because you are not worrying about what she is going because she can handle whatever is throw at her.
“It is not a weakness for us in terms of the ball being hit to her because she was able to turn the situation around which not a lot of the players can do and it keeps you in more points in the match. In terms of comparing to 2007 then there were some big differences including the fact we were top seeds at the 2017 Championships and in 2007 it was the first time I had played mixed doubles and had just joined the tour. This year I knew we would have a real chance of winning because I had a great partner. I also knew that I could play good mixed doubles when I put my mind to it and I entered the tournament believing we had a major chance of winning.”