Reuniting: Soares And Murray Are Getting Back Together

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Word on the street is Great Britain’s Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares of Brazil are reuniting their championship doubles team for the 2021 season. Indeed, the band is getting back together for another great run of good fortune.

Soares confirmed the renewal of his doubles partnership with Murray when he sat for a virtual media chat Friday after he and Mate Pavic of Croatia, who were seeded first, won their final Nitto ATP Finals Group Bob Bryan match over John Peers of Australia and Michael Venus of New Zealand, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 10-8. Despite finishing 2-1, they did not qualify for Saturday’s semifinal round from their group.

Soares and Murray famously won both the Australian Open and the US Open titles in 2016 and that same year were ranked World No. 1.

This past season, the right-handed Soares, now 38, paired with the 27-year-old Pavic to win the US Open and they were the top-seeded team at this week’s Nitto ATP Finals. Their 2020 win-loss record was 22-11 (37-20 career as a team). Meanwhile, the left-handed Murray, 34, has teamed with Neal Skupski, 30, of Great Britain and they finished 27-17 and ranked ninth in the Race to London. They won one title this season, earlier this month in Sofia.

During a virtual interview at the Nitto ATP Finals in London, Soares, whose lifetime doubles record is 507-292 (with 33 titles) was asked by reporters how getting back together with Murray (442-316 lifetime, 24 titles) came about and why. He said: “Well, yeah. Mate came to me the end of last week and decided that he wanted to split and he had different plans for 2021. Jamie found out the news. Came to talk to me, my plans. To be honest, I didn’t really have any plans because I was trying to focus, you know, on the tournament here, pretty big one. 

“But again, I have to at one point look for a partner. It seemed to me a great idea. I really like Jamie as a person, as a player. We had a lot of success together. 

“I think we both are more experienced, more mature now. I’m really looking forward for next year.”

Having been apart, where they’ve competed with different partners, Soares was asked how it would help coming back together and what he would do differently than before. He said:

“Well, I think at the end it’s a little bit of – I mean, it’s like a marriage, you know. At the end, sometimes just a routine and it just gets to you, and I think at the end was then. 

“I think Jamie needed a change at that moment. I appreciate him because he was always very honest about it, and when he came and talked to me, I complete understood. I think for me, first thing, you’ve got to be happy on court, and if you’re not really happy you have got to do something to be happy. He felt that the change was necessary. 

“We’re still playing great tennis. I think right now, I think it’s not the experience with different partners. I think it’s just time. You mature, you play better, keep improving.

“I think Jamie improved a lot since we played, which is good. I don’t know if I improved a lot. I’m getting older, so he’s going to have to come with the youth, which he’s not that young anymore.”

A message from Novak

Behind The Racquet – Thiago Seyboth Wild

“In 2015, I realized that tennis is what I wanted to do with my life,” writes Thiago Seyboth Wild in a Behind The Racquet essay published on the Behind The Racquet Instagram page. “The tennis court was the only place where I could drown out all of the world’s problems.”

What they’re writing

Girl Nathan, contributing writer for Racquet Magazine, wonders just exactly what would happen if the vivid mind of Stefanos Tsitipas was left to wander for months at a time.

“Let us be frank: Things could have gotten funky with Stefanos Tsitsipas during a suspended tennis season. Life in a pandemic had plenty of us reconsidering routines, as the sudden departure from the everyday made stark what we liked and disliked about that every day. Many will emerge from the other side with priorities reshuffled, a fresh worldview. For a tennis player, the burdens of international travel and grueling matches were lifted. For a tennis player of means, this meant unusual stretches of free time, which might allow them to entertain other flights of fancy—and for Tsitsipas in particular, there are many, many fancies.

The Way Back Machine – Andy Murray, 2016 

What they’re sharing on social media

Elina Svitolina / Dreaming about her next adventure

Gaël Monfils / Getting together with Andy and Grigor

Katie Boulder / Recharging