JAMIE Murray and Australian John Peers reached their second consecutive grand slam final after winning a thrilling final-set tie-break at the US Open.
Murray and Peers lost in the final at Wimbledon in July but the pair now have the chance to go one step further at Flushing Meadows after edging out United States duo Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey 6-4 6-7 (2/7) 7-6 (9/7).
The American pair led 5-2 in the final-set tie-break in Louis Armstrong Stadium and then had a match point at 6-5, but Murray and Peers fought back to seal victory in one hour and 55 minutes.
“My nerves are shot,” Murray said. “We’re so happy to win and get to the final.
“We played a really high level match - they came back strong and served well. There weren’t many chances.
“We just managed to turn it round from 5-2 down in the tie-break and we’re pumped to get to the final.”
Murray and Peers broke to lead 5-3 in the final set but Peers produced two double faults when serving for the match as the Americans forced a tie-break.
“I just said we hadn’t lost anything,” Murray said.
“We had only just broken, I said we still had a great chance to win the match.
“We stayed strong, our energy was good and that got us over the line.”
The momentum seemed with Querrey and Johnson, who were just two points away from the final when they stormed 5-2 clear in the tie-break, but Peers won two on his serve before Querrey double faulted to make it 5-5.
A sharp Johnson finish gave the Americans match point but a superb reflex volley from Murray ensured the British-Australian duo survived.
“It would have been quite easy to panic there,” Murray said.
“And to make the reflex was key I guess for our chances because if I’d missed that it would have been curtains.
“But that’s why we train every day and it paid off.”
It was now Murray and Peers’ turn to handle the pressure as two lobs long presented two match points, the second of which they converted, when a Querrey pass flew out.
Andy Murray, beaten in the fourth round of the singles on Tuesday, expressed his delight, writing on Twitter: “So proud of my big brother @jamie_murray and his partner @johnwpeers! Us open final... Great job guys.. Amazing win”
Murray and Peers will now face Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the final, after the French pair beat Britain’s Dominic Inglot and Swede Robert Lindstedt 7-5 6-2.
“Credit to them, they were just better on the day,” Inglot said.
“It wasn’t my best day, I thought I let us down a bit so I’m a bit disappointed with that.”
Inglot’s impressive display in New York has given British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith a selection headache ahead of next week’s semi-final against Australia in Glasgow.
Jamie Murray partnered brother Andy for the win over France in July but Inglot could step in with Jamie for the doubles rubber, allowing Andy to rest for the singles.
“I’ll probably have a good little mope for the rest of the day, partake in some comfort eating, then I’ll head back to Britain tomorrow and see when Leon wants me up in Glasgow for the Davis Cup,” Inglot said.
“We’re in a great shape. If Jamie and I get called upon to play as a team there won’t be any issue with match practice.
“I’ve played nine in a row now, I’m feeling pretty good, he’s feeling pretty good, there might be a few things we need to work on and that’s it.”