It is eight years since Jamie Murray won his only Grand Slam title, when he partnered Jelena Jankovic to victory in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon, but on Saturday the Scot will have another chance to add to his portfolio.
Murray and his Australian partner, John Peers, beat the Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 in the men’s doubles to earn a meeting in the final with the Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who beat Britain’s Dominic Inglot and Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt 7-5, 6-2.
It will be Murray’s fourth appearance in a Grand Slam final and his second here following his defeat in the mixed doubles in 2008, when the Scot and Liezel Huber were beaten by Cara Black and Leander Paes.
Murray and Peers, who reached the final of the men’s doubles at Wimbledon two months ago, are enjoying their best year as a pair and regularly showed their excellent teamwork in what was always a tight match.
The only break of the first set came when Johnson served in the third game, with Murray’s interceptions proving crucial. There were no breaks in the second set, but the Americans played a near-perfect tie-break, which they won 7-2, to send the match into a third set.
Johnson was broken at 3-4 in the decider, Querrey missing a volley on the first break point of the set, only for Peers to hit two double faults in failing to serve out for the match in the following game. The match went to a second tie-break, which Murray and Peers won 9-7 after saving one match point.
For the first time at this year’s tournament blue skies and intense heat were replaced by rain-filled clouds and a heavy atmosphere. The forecast for later in the day was so dire that the evening session featuring the women’s semi-finals was called off in mid-afternoon.
Those matches will instead be scheduled for Friday morning, starting at 11am (4pm BST), with the men’s semi-finals to follow.
Inglot and Lindstedt had been first on court after a delayed start and were quickly into their stride, breaking serve in the opening game after Herbert double-faulted twice. However, that was as good as it got for the Briton and the Swede, who joined forces only two months ago.
While Inglot was never broken, Lindstedt dropped his serve four times. Mahut and Herbert, who have yet to win a title together but were runners-up three times this year, looked the sharper team throughout and returned serve particularly well.
The French pair levelled at 2-2 and broke Lindstedt when he served at 5-6, Herbert hitting the winning backhand. Lindstedt was broken again in the fourth game of the second set and at 2-5 the Swede and his partner both missed at the net before Herbert hit the winning volley.
“I think our returning was the key today,” Mahut said afterwards. “We knew we could serve well but the returns today were crucial. We were 2-0 down in the first set but we came back strong and the second set was even better for us.”