JAMIE Murray has admitted John Peers saved him from abandoning doubles after the duo so nearly claimed Queen’s Club glory.
Scotland’s Murray believes he and Peers can now capitalise on their fine run in Kensington to challenge for the Wimbledon crown.
Murray went through 43 partners in six years before linking up with Australian Peers 16 months ago. The well-balanced duo lost 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 10-4 in a hotly-contested Aegon Championships final to Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.
Murray claimed the mixed doubles Wimbledon crown with Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and now expects to receive a seeding for the men’s doubles draw next week.
“This has been by far the best partnership I’ve had in my career and I hope it continues for a long time,” said 28-year-old Murray. “It’s helped my game exponentially, that continuity and direction, it brings confidence and calmness. It’s possible I could have become disillusioned if I’d continued with so many different partners. After the Australian Open last year, I had to come back to Britain and didn’t know what was going to happen.
“I didn’t want to keep going down the road of the previous two years: I wasn’t enjoying it and I couldn’t really see things getting better.
“When John agreed to come over and play in tournaments in Europe after Australia, it was a big opportunity for me. We stuck it out and now we’re getting the rewards. I think we will be seeded [at Wimbledon], I think after this week we will manage to do that. We think we can do really well there: we put our level on the court [at Queen’s] and it’s a tough level to beat.”
Frustrated by general low perceptions of doubles, Murray said it is far more than simply an extra route into the sport. “It’s not always the case that the doubles get promoted well on tour,” he said. “I think we bring a lot to the tour. Nowadays, singles guys are playing as much doubles as the doubles players.
“The level is very high, the money is good but, contrary to other comments, it is not just a bunch of crap players getting a lucky break with their career and whatnot. I know how hard we work each week to do the best we can, whether in training or in a tournament. I see how hard the other guys work too, everyone is working to make it to the top.
“No-one is just coasting by and making a decent living. I think we deserve a bit more credit.”