It is not so much what you know as who you know that matters. And the fact that Jamie Murray knows Martina Hingis – and that she has got to know him – brought the Scot his fifth grand slam title yesterday as the Scots-Swiss partnership won the US Open mixed doubles trophy.
They beat Michael Venus and Hao-Ching Chan (also known as Angel), 6-1, 4-6, 10-8. Following on from their Wimbledon victory, it leaves Murray and Hingis unbeaten in 10 matches – which is not a bad start for a new partnership.
“I tried to find the best partner I could and I’m playing with her!” Murray said.
“Look, she’s an amazing player, she’s had such a great career. It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve played a lot of good tennis this week and I think three times here we’ve won 10-8 so it just shows how fine the margins are in mixed doubles with the format we play. Hopefully we play more but we’ll see.”
With little time to prepare or plan for the mixed doubles – it is only played at the grand slam tournaments – Murray and Hingis had to get to know each other on the hoof.
Luckily, their games clicked immediately back in Wimbledon and even though Venus and Chan fought back in the second set and had their noses in front in the champions’ tiebreak yesterday, their instinctive understanding of what needed to be done saw them home.
“I think that the key to our success is we’re always there when it really matters,” Hingis said. “Jamie’s serve is so annoying anyway, so it’s like OK, we get through that. I think this is really the key: we’ve been there, we’ve won titles and we know how it’s done. And I think just giving ourselves the chance to make the returns, to make the first serves – that is definitely key.”
It is hard to tell just who is boss in the heat of battle and when the two first joined forces, Jamie’s mum, Judy, predicted that they would make a great team because her elder son is a true gentleman. That said, when Hingis was chasing down one of Venus’s backhands, Murray screamed at her to leave it. She did as she was told but she almost jumped out of her skin when he yelled.
Not that she minded. She and Murray are here to win and together they seem to have formed the perfect partnership. As Hingis said: they know it is done.