LONDON – The first-year pairing of Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares has clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking. Murray and Soares join Grant Connell and Patrick Galbraith (1993), and Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge (2001) as the only teams to claim the honour in their first season together.
Great Britain’s Murray and Brazil’s Soares, who completed Group Edberg/Jarryd play this week with a 3-0 record to advance to the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, are guaranteed the year-end No. 1 honour after French pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut lost their final round-robin match at The O2 in London, venue of the season finale.
Additionally, as a result of Mahut’s loss, if Soares goes on to win the season finale crown with Murray on Sunday, the 34 year old will become the 50th player (since 1976) to rise to the individual No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, when the new standings are published on 21 November.
“It takes time to develop a partnership,” said Murray. “We were fortunate to hit it off on the right note at the beginning of the year and it gave us a lot of confidence. We knew we could do good things on the court together and the No. 1 ranking shows that. We’ll try and compete this weekend to win the [Barclays] ATP World Tour Finals. It’s pretty exciting to be the No. 1 team.”
Soares said, “My phone is shaking quite a lot now. It’s a great achievement and now I have to win the title to become the individual No. 1 [in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings]. So I have a chance.”
Murray and Soares captured three titles in 2016 at the Australian Open (d. Nestor/Stepanek), the US Open (d. Carreño Busta/Garcia-Lopez) and the Apia Sydney International (d. Bopanna/Mergea). The pair was also runners up at two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (l. to Herbert/Mahut) and the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Dodig/Melo).
Jamie Murray’s brother, Andy, is also battling Novak Djokovic for the coveted year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, which will be decided in the final days of the 2016 season at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Andy Murray on his brother and Soares ending the year No . 1:
“They had an amazing year. Only started playing with each other in January. Won the two slams, you know, which is fantastic. Jamie had not won a slam before this year, a men’s doubles slam. Bruno neither.
“They obviously complement each other’s games very well. They’ve played I think really good in most of the big competitions. They deserve it. They’ve obviously played extremely well this week. They knew pretty much what they were going to have to do. Yeah, won all three of their matches here.
“It’s a great achievement for both of them. Very proud of Jamie.”
“I think my mum is here. My grandparents came earlier in the week. They went home on Thursday. My dad was here for the first few days, and he went home on Tuesday morning. He saw me and Jamie play one match each.
“But, no, I mean, obviously the whole year has been fantastic for both of us. Obviously, yeah, we would like to finish it perfectly if we can. Still there’s a good chance that doesn’t happen. Yeah, regardless of what happens over the weekend, we can look back on this year and be very proud of what we’ve done as a family.”