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Jamie Murray criticizes singles players, says they play doubles just for a quick paycheck

Jamie Murray
Jamie Murray
ANALYST
Modified 11 Dec 2019, 16:35 IST
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What's the story?

In an illuminating interview, former doubles World No. 1 Jamie Murray fired shots at singles tennis players who sign up to compete in doubles matches just to earn some "stress-free money".

Whilst admitting that he found the contrasting styles of singles and doubles interesting, the doubles specialist argued that many of the singles players don't take their doubles matches as seriously as they should.

In case you didn't know...

Although Andy Murray gets the majority of the limelight in the Murray household, his brother Jamie has also been a significant presence in the tennis world. He has won an incredible seven Grand Slam titles in men's doubles and mixed doubles combined, and continues to be a force in team competitions.

Most recently, he helped Great Britain reach the semifinals of the Davis Cup in Madrid, where his team lost to the Rafael Nadal-led Spain.

Great Britain Compete For 2019 Davis Cup
Great Britain Compete For 2019 Davis Cup

The heart of the matter

In an interview with Behind The Racquet, Jamie expressed his views on singles players competing in doubles matches. The Scot admitted: “I find it interesting when the singles guys compete against doubles. It’s fun watching these contrasting styles of tennis on the same court."

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He wasn't wholly positive, however, and appeared to fire shots at some of the singles players for their lack of respect for doubles tennis.

"The singles guys might rip on the doubles guys but at the end of the day, they’re still out there competing each week because it’s (a) way for them to make stress free money."
Jamie Murray vents frustration against Singles players
Jamie Murray vents frustration against Singles players
“You just sign your name every week, doesn’t matter if you win, lose or draw and there’s no accountability for their performance. Whereas for doubles guys if I lose four times in a row, my ranking is going to drop and I won’t get into any tournaments. For the singles guys, it doesn’t matter what the results are they can just keep signing in," he continued.

He concluded by suggesting that the attitude of singles players hurts the standards of doubles tennis.

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“I do find it frustrating, and not a good look for our product if there are guys on court playing without any interest of trying to win. They’re just there to get a little practice in, get used to the conditions and a quick paycheck."
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“I guess it's something that I was used to, starting around 16 or 17. Andy made his breakthrough into the big leagues around 18 when he played Queens and then made third round of Wimbledon. For a long time, people would talk to me just because they wanted to ask Andy questions, which still happens today. People come up asking me where Andy is and how he is doing. People would do interviews with me in the hopes that they could get to him. The last five or six years, I feel like that's changed quite a lot. People now want to talk to me because of my own achievements that I’ve had in my career, which to be honest feels pretty nice after all this time. I don't mind talking about my brother, It really never bothered me, but if that's the sole purpose for doing an interview, or a chat, it just doesn’t seem necessary. He's been such a big star of the tennis world for the last 10 years or so and I am proud of him. I was always his number one supporter. It was never really an issue for me. I wouldn't say that it was like a motivation for me to work harder in my career, trying to get out of his shadow, but I would say that his mentality, his work ethic and what he achieved on the court, has inspired me to dedicate myself more to my career. I committed more time and did everything to master my skills. I have done everything necessary to have as successful of a career as possible. I'm sure I could have got better in singles than what I did, but it was never going to be at the same level as my doubles. There are moments when singles player talk down about doubles players or doubles game. The prize money will never be displayed accurately and doubles will always be on the back foot because singles is seen as the higher priority sport and the more premium discipline in tennis. It’s a totally different skill set and my skills have always been a lot more suited to playing doubles. Certainly in this current era of tennis the doubles game is in the best spot it has been in, since I started in 2007. It’s on TV far more often which is great for local market...” @jamie__murray Read full story at behindtheracquet.com (link in bio @behindtheracquet )

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What's next?

Jamie knows the struggles of doubles players in comparison to those of singles players better than most, considering he himself is a doubles specialist while his brother is more focused on singles. His words could well have a positive effect on the two circuits, forcing the singles players to show a greater sense of commitment when they do wade into doubles.

Published 11 Dec 2019, 16:35 IST
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