Dominant Murray/Soares Notch US Open Doubles Title
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares are hitting their stride at the perfect time, streaking to the US Open doubles crown on Saturday at Flushing Meadows. The fourth seeds downed Spaniards Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-3 in 78 minutes, firing 27 winners, while converting four of five break chances.
The duo are now nipping at the heels of Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut for No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London, moving to withing 300 points of the top spot with the title. Earlier in the tournament, Murray and Soares qualified for their first Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as a team.
"I think we were clinical in what we did," said Murray. "We didn't really let them play very much. Bruno returned very well. When he was very aggressive on the return, I could get right on top of the net and the guys didn't have anywhere to play the ball. We did a good job on our serves. After the first game it was big for us to get the break back straightaway and settle ourselves into the match. I think we just did a really solid job.
"I couldn't ask for anything more. I lost two Grand Slam finals last year. I felt like I was ready to win. I felt good about my game, where it was at. I felt like Bruno was a partner that could get me over the line. I think we were validated under our decision to come together."
Murray and Soares claimed their own slices of history on Saturday, with the Brit becoming the first from his country to win the US Open doubles title since Roger Taylor in 1972 and the Brazilian becoming the first ever from the South American nation to lift the trophy.
Carreno Busta and Garcia-Lopez surged out of the gates, breaking in the first game. But the Spaniards' lead would not hold. Two straight breaks for Murray and Soares would swing momentum for good. After capturing the opener 6-2, a Murray volley winner gave them a decisive 2-0 lead in the second set, as the 30 year old lunged to cut off a Carreno Busta forehand at the net. Seven games later, they emerged with the trophy, as Soares sealed the title with a volley winner of his own.
"It means a lot," said Soares. "Every title means a lot. I think this Grand Slam is extra special. For me, New York has been amazing to me. I won the mixed title here twice.
"I had a very tough run in 2013 when Alex (Peya), we won the semis, but he got injured so we weren't able to compete in the final. So for me to be able to come back here and win the whole thing is just an amazing feeling. The year has been incredible, our first year as a team. To win two slams, it's tough to explain how good the feeling is."
The Australian Open champions earned their second Grand Slam title and third of the year at the tour-level, having opened their partnership with a victory on the hard courts of Sydney in January. Runner-up in New York last year with John Peers, Murray improved to 2-2 in major finals, while Soares moved to 2-1. They became the first team to win multiple Grand Slam titles in a season since Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan won three in 2013.
Carreno Busta and Garcia-Lopez, meanwhile, were the first unseeded team to reach the US Open doubles final since Lleyton Hewitt and Max Mirnyi lifted the trophy in 2000. Carreno Busta was appearing in his fourth tour-level doubles final, seeking a second title, while Garcia-Lopez was appearing in his ninth final. He won his third ATP World Tour doubles title two weeks ago at the Winston-Salem Open, with Henri Kontinen.
Lopez/Lopez Punch Tickets To London
Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez have qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 13-20 November. Lopez/Lopez, who reached the semi-finals at the US Open, join Murray and Soares, as well as Herbert/Mahut and Bryan/Bryan at the season finale. The Roland Garros champions qualified when Murray and Soares won the title in New York on Saturday, per the Grand Slam Champions rule.
Lopez/Lopez are currently No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London. In addition to their title run on the clay of Roland Garros, they lifted the trophy in Doha at the start of the season. The Spanish tandem also reached the final at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Dubai in February.