Sydney: Murray/Soares Triumph
British-Brazilian duo downs No. 4 seeds to win Apia International Sydney doubles
It was their first final and only their second tournament together. Yet Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares looked as if they had been teaming up for years. On Saturday in Ken Rosewall Arena, the British-Brazilian tandem upset No. 4 seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-3, 7-6(6) to win the doubles title at the Apia International Sydney.
Service breaks in the second and eighth games gave Murray and Soares all the momentum they would need to take the opening set. But Bopanna/Mergea battled back in the second set to force a tie-break.
And here’s where things got really interesting.
Bopanna and Mergea raced out to a 5-0 lead in the tie-break and even held a pair of set points at 6-4 and 6-5. But after falling behind 0-5, Murray/Soares would claim eight of the next nine points to triumph in dramatic fashion in one hour and 29 minutes. They had advanced to the semi-finals last week in Doha in their maiden event. Last year, Murray had teamed John Peers to reach finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. They finished No. 4 in Emirates ATP Team Rankings. But the Scotsman’s new partnership with Soares appears to be off to strong start.
Reflecting on the second set tie-break, Murray said, "Bruno said at 5-0, 'Let's hang around and see what happens.' We managed to play a couple of good points, which got us back in it. We won eight of the next nine points. I think it was testament to us. We fought hard this week. We came through a lot of close battles and we're really excited to win our first title together."
"It's been a very good start," said Soares. "We had a great event in Doha, reaching the semi-finals and came here and won the trophy. It's the best preparation we can have for Melbourne. We're playing good, feeling good. Now it's time to go to the big one and perform well."
"I think we're No. 1 in the world right now, so on the right track!" said Soares. "We hope we can manage to be in the same position in December."
Bopanna/Mergea had dropped just one set this week coming into to the final. Last season, they finished at No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Team Rankings, winning a pair of titles. Bopanna had been attempting to win his third straight Sydney title with as many partners.