British tennis is not all about Andy Murray, even though he is never far from the eye of the storm. Against Argentina in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon, it was Jamie who took the tiller to guide Great Britain to safer waters through a sudden-death doubles four-setter in this enthralling Davis Cup semi-final.
Whatever Novak Djokovic’s protestations to the contrary, the prevailing sentiment around Flushing Meadows, supported by the visual evidence, is the defending champion is less than fully fit as he reaches for his third US Open title against Stan Wawrinka on Sunday.
Jamie Murray secured the third doubles slam title of his career and his second in the company of Bruno Soares as they finessed and blasted their way past the Spaniards Pablo Carreño Busta and Guillermo García-López in straight sets on an echoing Arthur Ashe Court.
Angelique Kerber was on the ropes in the third and deciding set of Saturday’s US Open final, having fallen behind a break against the big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova.
When Stan Wawrinka won his first major title at the 2014 Australian Open against an injury hampered Rafael Nadal to become the oldest first-time grand slam champion in 13 years, it might have been written off as a fluke. When he backed it up at last year’s French Open, the veteran baseliner’s place among the finest big-match players of his generation was beyond dispute.
If a set of tennis can be described as flawless, that which Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares inflicted on Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the first 41 minutes of their semi-final win on day 11 of the 2016 US Open is surely a candidate.
Andy Murray’s golden summer run crashed to earth on day ten of the 2016 US Open when he squandered early dominance against Kei Nishikori, whom he had lost to once in eight matches but who found the will and strength to grind out a gruelling five-set win for a place in the semi-finals.
It was a three-word tweet which spoke volumes. No sooner had Andy Murray completed his remarkable ascension to the top of men’s tennis, Nick Kyrgios paid homage on social media. “U the man” wrote the Australian before posting a picture of him rubbing Murray’s head. A heartwarming tennis “bromance” for the ages.
Johanna Konta had to conquer nerves she thought she had long buried to beat the Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 22 minutes in Melbourne on Wednesday and stands one win away from becoming the first British finalist in a slam since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.
Britain's vote to leave the European Union has hit the tennis lawns, too.
Suspended tennis star Nick Kyrgios has suggested he is unlikely to see a sports psychologist in a bid to have his eight-week ban reduced.
Novak Djokovic, eight times out of 10 for most of his career, has found a way. On Tuesday night he did it again with tennis which he admitted was short of his best but palpably too good for the eighth time in a row against Milos Raonic.
Stan Wawrinka pleased his many friends and family, as well as his tailor, by beating the world No1 Novak Djokovic in four sets on Court Philippe Chatrier on the most beautiful of Sunday afternoons.
What started out as another quiet day in paradise turned into a rolling parade of shocks and minor surprises: Novak Djokovic beaten for only the second time in 30 matches this year, and Aljaz Bedene targeting Rafael Nadal’s once-feared forehand on clay, before losing anyway.
It was framed as a question but it sounded more like a threat.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic meet for the 35th time on Sunday in a match loaded with more significance than even some of their many contests for majors: the championship of each other, as someone once described the trilogy of world heavyweight title fights between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.