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.
Andy Murray will have to wait until Sunday to discover his fourth-round opponent after Nick Kyrgios and Feliciano López’s hugely enjoyable thrash metal encounter was halted for bad light while poised at one set all.
‘Twice as good” is a phrase that some know so well, but which others, those who have never needed to be taught about it, may not recognise at all.
On a gloomy day on the south coast, there was a dark cloud over Heather Watson, who will head to Wimbledon with diminished levels of confidence after she continued her poor run of form by tumbling out of the Aegon International in the first round.
Britain's vote to leave the European Union has hit the tennis lawns, too.
Halfway through Novak Djokovic’s first match of this tournament, against Londoner James Ward on Monday afternoon, a fan shouted: “He’s only human, James!” It brought the usual guffaws.
Rarely can so many disbelieving eyes have been trained on Novak Djokovic. The whole of tennis was watching the best player in the world lose the plot, the match and – however briefly – his aura on No1 Court here on Saturday, and it was not an altogether pretty spectacle.
After this most tumultuous and savagely unpredictable of summers it was reassuring to find a national institution on which Britain can rely.
Roger Federer has played many great matches at Wimbledon in the past 17 years but few to match his comeback here on a warm Wednesday afternoon.
No one likes losing but when things are taken out of your hands, it hurts that little bit more. Britain’s last representative in the juniors, Gabriella Taylor, was forced to retire from her quarter-final because of a virus, ending her hopes of a first grand slam title.
Andy Murray has vowed to enjoy winning his second Wimbledon title, claiming that doing so via a straight-sets win against Milos Raonic on Centre Court on Sunday had left him feeling “happier” and “more content” than when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final here three years ago.
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.