Jamie Murray’s partnership with Bruno Soares has borne almost immediate fruit after the pair lifted the Apia International Sydney men’s doubles title in just their second tournament together.
Murray split with Australia’s John Peers at the end of last year – despite the duo reaching the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2015 – to team up with the 33-year-old Brazilian.
And in their maiden final together, Murray and Soares hit back from a 5-0 deficit in the second set tie-break to defeat fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).
The unseeded Scottish-Brazilian combination secured two breaks of serve to take the first set but it looked like the match would be heading for a decider when Bopanna and Mergea won the first five points of the second set tie-break.
India’s Bopanna and Romania’s Mergea even had an opportunity when they went 6-4 ahead, but they lost the following four points as Murray and Soares clinched a straight sets win in 89 minutes.
Murray, who helped Great Britain defeat Belgium in the Davis Cup final two months ago, and Soares reached the semi-finals in Doha in their first event together last week before losing to Spanish duo Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.
Murray, who will now go into the Australian Open with confidence, said of the victory in Sydney: “It’s testament to us that we fought hard this week. We came through close battles and we’re really excited to win our first title together. There are some big ones next week and we will try as best we can.”
»Great Britain’s Dan Evans qualified for Australian Open main draw with a three-set victory over American Bjorn Fratangelo in their third-round qualifying match in Melbourne.
Evans qualified for the main event for the first time in his career with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-0 victory over the 22-year-old.
Evans capitalised on six of his nine break-point opportunities to knock out the American, who is ranked 54 places higher than the Briton.
He will face Spain’s world No.19 Feliciano Lopez in the first round.