Wimbledon: Jamie Murray loses doubles final

THE fantasy of a dream double for the Murray clan had already been dashed in the same arena on Friday night.

Jamie Murray (L) and Australia's John Peers (R) pose with their runners up plates after losing the men's doubles final. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Just to compound the disappointment, and with Andy Murray looking on, bother Jamie last night suffered fresh heartache on Centre Court along with partner John Peers, losing in straight sets in the final of the men’s doubles to fourth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, 7,6, 6-4, 6-4.

This wasn’t the way it was meant to be. But Jamie’s disappointment will be lessened by the knowledge he and Peers will pocket £85,000 each as losing finalists. For the winners, it is £170,000 per person.

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Andy sneaked in near the start of the second set together with wife Kim Sears, and could be heard shouting encouragement from time to time. “I didn’t know he was coming until I heard him shouting,” Jamie said later. “It was nice to have his support.”

Jamie Murray (L) and Australia's John Peers (R) pose with their runners up plates after losing the men's doubles final. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

After his own defeat to Roger Federer in Friday’s semi-final, Andy said he was undecided about whether to attend his brother’s shot at glory or not. Explaining that he got too nervous watching him play, he thought he would not attend, and would follow the score by other means.

But he had a change of heart. Wearing a baseball cap and Wimbledon green coloured sweat-shirt, he tried to rouse his brother and Peers. But even by the time Andy made his belated appearance, they were already toiling, having lost the first set on a tie-break, 7-5.

They were also quickly broken at the start of the second on the Peers serve, meaning that they were always chasing in the second set.

Against such an experienced pair as Tecau and Rojer, it was always going to be a struggle to claw back this deficit.

Their one hope lay in the fact that Tecau has a habit of losing finals. This was his fourth Wimbledon men’s doubles final; he had lost the previous three.

But these had all been when he was paired with the Swedish veteran Robert Lindstedt.

Rojer brought him better luck yesterday, meaning Tecau avoided the ignominy of becoming the first player since Stan Smith to lose his first four Wimbledon finals. But he was also in superb form himself.

HRH the Duke of Kent handed the runners-up their silver salvers, as photographers crowded below. Andy applauded enthusiastically from the row just behind the players’ box. Originally he had been sitting further back before being ushered down with Sears to two spare seats nearer the front.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon was also present, tweeting a photograph of her and “all-time hero” Martina Natratilova. She later settled into her seat in the Royal Box to cheer on Murray and Peers.

There was plenty of support for the “home” pair – Peers, of course, is Australian. As Jamie made his way to his side of the court at the start, one shout resounded around a then fairly empty Centre Court: “C’mon Jamie, do it for Scotland!” The arena filled up as spectators filed back in again after their refreshment breaks, following the women’s final between Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza.

Rojer managed to hold his opening service game from 0-30 down, even making an appeal to Hawke-eye to prove one of his serves had been out, after Jamie slammed back a backhand winner to give him and Peers a break point. Rojer was proved right and he and Tecau went on the win the game. The contest was being extremely tightly contested during the first set; Jamie dropped one point on serve in the entire first set.

At 6-5 in the tie-break came the rally of the match, with Tecau sealing the set with a pounding volley.

The first break came in the third game of the second set, on Peers’ serve. Enter Andy Murray, to lend his support. At the start of the eighth game of the third set, with Jamie and Peers leading 4-3, he was the first to rise from his seat and applaud them as they returned to action after a reviving drink. He clearly knows how helpful the cheers and encouragement can be. Both his brother and Peers were desperately in need of a fillip. They couldn’t find it.

Tecau easily held serve, sealing the game with a 124 mph serve past Peers, who barely sniffed it.

A double fault by the Australian in the next game at 30-30 gifted Tecau and Rojer a break point, which they took.

Murray, who won the mixed doubles title with Jelena Jankovic in 2007, was looking to become the first British man since Leslie Godfree in the 1920s to have won the Wimbledon’s men’s and mixed doubles titles. But like the dream of him and Andy celebrating a double title win, this one perished too.

Rojer is a good friend of the Murrays and was at Andy’s wedding. But there was no mercy from him in the last game, as he served out for victory with a series of powerful serves. When Peers netted a return at 40-0, it was all over.