Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares had already secured a semi-final berth at the Nitto ATP Finals 2018 after winning their two opening matches in the Llodra/ Santoro Group. They faced their biggest challenge yet against the 2016 and 2017 Champions - Finnish-Aussie duo of Henri Kontinen and John Peers. They maintained their 100% winning record winning their 3rd group match 3-6, 7-6(3), 10-3 at the O2 Arena in London.
The match lasted 87 minutes with the Scottish-Brazillian pair winning an impressive 74% of points of their own serve. Murray and Soares have made the semi-finals in both 2016 and 2017 but fell short of making the finals each time.
“It was a great effort for to us win the match because we obviously were hanging in a lot of the time,” remarked Jamie Murray. “We never find it easy to play those guys because they serve so well, they’ve got a lot of firepower. They make it stressful for you. But we hung in. We played our best at the end, which is really what matters in doubles.”
The first set saw Kontinen and Peers break their opponents' service game twice. The second set was a tight affair with neither team allowing the other a service break. The match went to a tiebreak, and at 3-3, Peers made an uncharacteristic unforced error enabling Murray/ Soares to seize the initiative and win 4 points in a row to level the match.
It was a one-sided affair in the Match tie-break with Murray and Soares racing to a 5-1 lead at the changeover. They wasted no time as they converted their first match point opportunity to hand the 2017 champions a tough loss. Kontinen and Peers are the only duos since the Bryan twins to have won two back-to-back ATP Finals titles.
Kontinen and Peers were brought into the competition as a late replacement to Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya who withdraw from the competition after playing the first two group matches owing to an injury to Austrian Alexander Peya.
The result meant that the winner of the final Llodra/ Santoro Group match between the Colombian duo of Robert Farah/ Juan Sebastian Cabal and Michael Venus/ Raven Klassen would move on to the semis.