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.
The calendar insists the end is near for Venus Williams, but the results continue to dissent. The 36-year-old American – the oldest woman in the top 200 and the oldest in the draw here – overcame a game challenge from Maria Sakkari in an entertaining second-round tilt on Thursday to book a meeting with Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the round of 32.
Of the 128 men who set out on their Wimbledon adventure a week ago, maybe a handful genuinely believed they would be in contention for the title on the final weekend. Nick Kyrgios is among them and on Monday he gets to prove he is good enough to get there – against the best player left in the draw, Andy Murray.
The look on John Isner’s face said it all: “Not again.” The American, whose name will forever be etched in Wimbledon history after his 11-hour, five-minute epic with Nicolas Mahut in 2010, a match in which he won the fifth set 70-68, on Sunday found himself embroiled in yet another marathon match here.
Weird scenes, these.
For as long as they play the game, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych will always have the semi-final of the 2015 Australian Open.
It is more than three decades since an incredulous John McEnroe uttered his most famous line: “You cannot be serious”.
Nick Kyrgios warmed up for Wednesday’s meeting with Andy Murray by recording an opening-day victory over Alexander Zverev in the Hopman Cup.
For patrons missing their darlings, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, this final week of the tennis season in London has opened a window on the future and the view through the winter mist is somewhere between encouraging and uncertain.
Watch arguably the greatest rally in the history of men's tennis, from last nights US Open final
When Andy Murray was crushed 6-0, 6-1 by Roger Federer at the World Tour Finals in London last November, the omens looked bad for his coach, Amélie Mauresmo.
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.