Australian Open 2019: Back-to-back defeats sees Jamie Murray's doubles campaign come to an end

Murray’s involvement in the tournament ended on Wednesday when he suffered two defeats in the space of a few hours, first in the men's doubles and then the mixed doubles

Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares were beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Henri Kontinen and John Peers
Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares were beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Henri Kontinen and John Peers

Jamie Murray might eventually remember this Australian Open more for his brother’s physical woes and his differences of opinion with a Davis Cup team mate than for his own on-court performances.

Murray’s involvement in the tournament ended here on Wednesday when he suffered two defeats in the space of a few hours. In the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles Murray and his Brazilian partner, Bruno Soares, were beaten 6-3, 6-4 by the 2017 champions, Henri Kontinen and John Peers.

Later in the afternoon Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands went out at the same stage of the mixed doubles when they were beaten 6-2, 7-6 by John-Patrick Smith and Astra Sharma.

Murray began his fortnight here by watching his brother Andy lose in the first round in what might prove to be his last competitive match. By the middle of it he was involved in a public war of words with Dan Evans over the respective merits of singles and doubles, but through everything he kept on winning.

Soares and Murray won three matches here, including two that went to three sets, but they struggled from the start against Kontinen and Peers. While Soares and Murray had only one break point in the match, which they failed to take, Kontinen and Peers took two of their seven.

Murray was broken in the second game of the opening set, in which Kontinen and Peers dropped only three points on their own serve. The second set was tight, but Murray was broken again in the ninth game.

“The other guys played a good match, an aggressive match,” Murray said afterwards. “Obviously I lost my serve at the start, which helped them settle down. We were under pressure a lot of the match. It was just one of those days where you get outplayed a bit. It was frustrating.”

Murray and Soares got their partnership off to a flying start when they won the Australian Open and US Open in their first year together in 2016. Although they have since won seven more titles on the men’s tour, further success at Grand Slam level has eluded them.

"The last three Slams we've done the quarter-finals, so it's not like we're turning up and losing first round,” Murray said. "A big goal for us this year was to try to win a Grand Slam. One shot down. We'll keep trying to do better."

Murray has had more success in mixed doubles in the last two years. In 2017 he won Wimbledon and the US Open playing with Martina Hingis and in New York last summer he won the title again, this time with Mattek-Sands.

The Scot and the American again joined forces here, but after winning their first two matches they suffered a surprising defeat against the Australians Sharma and Smith, who are ranked No 335 and No 74 in doubles in the world respectively.

Neal Skupski is now the last British player left in senior competition here. The 29-year-old from Liverpool, who is ranked No 32 in men’s doubles, is through to the semi-finals of the mixed alongside Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. In the quarter-finals they beat the No 1 seeds, Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic. They next play Barbora Krejcikova and Rajeev Ram.

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