Murray/Soares Meet French Duo In Final
Jamie Murray ensured he will stay atop the individual Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings on Monday as he and Bruno Soares defeated Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday to reach the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
It was all to play for in the semi-final, as Melo had the chance to regain top spot had he and Dodig, the 2014 Monte-Carlo runners-up, claimed the win.
But fourth seeds and Australian Open champions Murray and Soares dominated the encounter as they advanced to their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final together.
The British/Brazilian duo surged into a 5-1 lead before sealing the opener. They broke Dodig and Melo in the ninth game of the second set and served out victory on their third match point in 68 minutes.
“I knew what the situation was with the match,” said Murray. “But if we didn’t win the match, it was going to be the end of the world, I’d already got to No. 1. We played really well. We really controlled the match for the most part. They came back into it well in the second set and we got through a couple of tricky moments. But we did really well from start to finish.”
“It’s not easy playing Melo,” said Soares. “We’re very good friends. We’re from the same city. Grew up together. He was the best man at my wedding. But we’ve played each other 12 or 13 times on tour. It’s a bit awkward. It’s a strange feeling. But it’s better to do it in the semi-final than in a first round.”
While Murray is through to his first Masters 1000 final, Soares will challenge for his third title at this level, having won back-to-back titles in Canada in 2013-14 with former long-term partner Alexander Peya.
“I haven’t don’t particularly well in Masters 1000s full stop,” said Murray. “To get to my first final is another stepping stone. In the Masters 1000s, you know from the first ball you’re going to have to play either the best doubles teams in the world or the best singles players. We’re excited to be in the final.”
In the final, Murray and Soares will face French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut Herbert and Mahut are looking to win their third Masters 1000 trophy of the season after victories in Indian Wells and Miami. They are only the second team since 2001 (Bjorkman/Woodbridge) to reach the final of all three Masters 1000 tournaments at the start of the season (Bryans – 2014).
Herbert and Mahut defeated Jean Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 7-6(7), 6-4 in one hour and 32 minutes. Cabal and Farah served for the first set at 6-5, but could not close it out as the French duo fought back to steal the opener. Herbert and Mahut then broke to start the second set and never looked back.