As Jamie Murray lifted another Grand Slam trophy on Saturday, the weather back home in his native Dunblane called for a rainy evening and a balmy 48 degrees. The chilly Allan Water that winds through the town, which sees slightly less than seven hours of daylight in winter, is a far cry from the sun-soaked shores on the Spanish coast or the sparkling beaches of Florida that traditionally produce tennis players.
Murray, the man that grew up in a town with a population of just over 8,000, managed to again be crowned champion in a city with more than eight million.
For all the hustle and bustle that seems light years away from the green glens, Murray thrives on the big stage of New York. The Scot has reached the final, in either doubles or mixed doubles, in the past four years, picking up three trophies in that run.
"it’s a pretty cool achievement. It’s not easy to do that. I love coming to the event and competing. It’s fun. I do enjoy the atmosphere. The crowd gets really into it.
"I enjoy being in the city, the atmosphere of the tournament [is great]."
Murray’s latest conquest on Arthur Ashe stadium featured a new partner: American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. On the weekend before the sign-in deadline, the two talked over a potential partnership through text messaging even though, as Murray puts it, “I hadn’t really put myself out there to sort of play mixed.”
But a partnership between two doubles powerhouses was a scenario neither could refuse. Battling back from a devastating knee injury suffered in Wimbledon in 2017, the 33-year-old Mattek-Sands only exuded rays of sunshine.
“We had a lot of fun on the court,” Murray said. “She’s a great personality, great character. Full of energy on the court. So positive. She’s been through so much to get to this point.”
Murray’s quest continues to better the sport both on and off the court. Along with re-writing the tennis history books in the United Kingdom, Murray has used his position on the ATP Player Council to bring more prominence to doubles, including discussions of a 32-player doubles draws at Masters-level tournaments.
"I've been on the council for a couple years, me and Bruno [Soares], representing the doubles guys,” Murray said. “We've been able to make a few changes for next year that we hope will help the product, working with the tournaments more to get more value.”
It is another feather in the cap of an already impressive resume, which includes Davis Cup champion, six-time doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam champion and doubles world No. 1. Over his illustrious career, Murray has paired up with some of the all-time greats including Hall-of-Famer and 25-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis, who won her titles across singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
In 10 days' time, Murray will be a 40-minute drive down the M80 away from Dunblane in Glasgow for Davis Cup. For all the thousands of miles traveled, passport stamps and big stages, Murray’s dream swan song for a final rubber would be back where it all began against the doubles’ game’s gold standard.
“I’d probably play with my brother in Scotland,” Murray said. “Probably [against] the Bryans. That would be a cool match. They bring so much energy and presence to the court. I’d do that for sure.”
Although Jamie’s brother Andy won’t be by his side this go around, home will always be where the heart is.
“We do get amazing support,” Murray said. “It’s been some of the best moments I’ve had in my tennis career playing for my country in Scotland.”