Wimbledon 2018: Jamie Murray targets doubles double as hope of British success continues despite singles failures

JAMIE MURRAY is on course for a doubles DOUBLE — to give British tennis fans something to cheer about at Wimbledon.

For the first time since 2007, when brother Andy was again absent through injury, the host nation has no players in the last 16 of the men’s or women’s singles.

 Jamie Murray and his mens doubles partner Bruno Soares

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Jamie Murray and his mens doubles partner Bruno Soares
 Murray of Great Britain is also in the mixed doubles with Victoria Azarenka of Belarus

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Murray of Great Britain is also in the mixed doubles with Victoria Azarenka of Belarus

But that was also the year that Jamie won his first Grand Slam title — claiming the mixed doubles crown with Jelena Jankovic at SW19.

Today, Murray continues his bid for men’s doubles glory with Bruno Soares before he and last-minute partner Victoria Azarenka play their second match in the mixed.

He and Soares, the No 5 seeds, take on British brothers Ken and Neal Skupski in the third round — and have good reason to fancy their chances in the second week.

Murray, 32, said: “We came into Wimbledon with high expectations and still have them.

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 Murray and Soares in the first week

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Murray and Soares in the first week

“We’re still going strong. I think the top four seeds all lost in the last 48 hours or so. I think we’re the highest seeds left now.

“It doesn’t guarantee anything — there’s still good teams out there. But someone’s got to win it, why not us?”

Belarusian Azarenka is the latest former world No 1 player to team up with Murray for the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

Jankovic went on after 2007 to hold the top spot and last year Murray won the title with tennis legend Martina Hingis.

 Murray was put together with Azarenka at the last minute

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Murray was put together with Azarenka at the last minute

The partnership with Azarenka was a spur-of-the-moment thing which is paying off for both parties.

Murray said: “Bruno was the matchmaker. He texted me to say, ‘Do you want to play mixed doubles with Azarenka?’.

“I wasn't going to play, but I said, ‘S**t, that is a great partner’.

“I called my coach Louis and said, ‘I know this was going to be our year, we were just going to do the doubles and that was going to be it’.

“But, s**t, this was Wimbledon and an amazing opportunity to play with someone great.

“He said, ‘Okay, you go for it then, we will see what happens’.”


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 Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis of Switzerland celebrate victory over Henri Kontinen of Finland and Heather Watson of Great Britain in the Mixed Doubles Final last year

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Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis of Switzerland celebrate victory over Henri Kontinen of Finland and Heather Watson of Great Britain in the Mixed Doubles Final last year

For two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka, who lost in the second round of the singles here at SW19, it is a great opportunity to play after a difficult year.

Injury and custody battles over son Leo, which forced her to stay in California for long periods, have hampered her comeback after giving birth in December 2016.

Azarenka said: “I am having a blast with Jamie on the court.

“Over the past few years my coach said I had played 50 matches — but some players have played that this year already.
“I definitely feel I have some catching up to do to be able to play my best.”

JAMIE MURRAY is on course for a doubles DOUBLE — to give British tennis fans something to cheer about at Wimbledon.