2016 season review: Murray/Soares

In their first full year together, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares endured a successful partnership. They managed to capture three titles, two of them at Grand Slam level. But there were also far too many lulls in performances outside the majors. 

Win/Loss 

Murray and Soares finished the year with 41 wins and 17 losses. They ended the year as the world number one team ahead of the French Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut

High points

The pair started the Australian swing in Sydney at the Apia International Sydney where they successfully captured the title defeating Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-3, 7-6(6) in just their second tournament together. During the Masters 1000, their level was a bit hit and miss. However, they did manage to make two finals. It all started at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. They defeated veteran pairing Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek before wins over the sixth and second seeds as they reached the final before losing out to Herbert and Mahut 4-6, 6-0, 10-6. Shortly after Wimbledon, the pair then made a run to the final at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. They were pushed to three sets in two of their three previous matches. In the final, they met Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, where they lost out 6-4, 6-4. 

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares winning their first trophy together at the Apia Sydney International (Photo: Nigel Owen/Getty Images)
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares winning their first trophy together at the Apia Sydney International (Photo: Nigel Owen/Getty Images)

Low points

After Monte-Carlo, the pair hit a snag. The bad form all started at the Barcelona Open BancSabbadell. Murray and Soares defeated Henri Kontinen and John Peers in three sets but the pair of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez were to be their downfall as they were defeated 10-6 in the match tiebreaker. At the Mutua Madrid Open in their next event, Kontinen and Peers avenged their defeat by dumping the Brit, Brazilian out in the first round. In Rome, the Bryan Brothers got the better of the duo in the quarterfinal 6-3, 6-4. At Roland Garros, Murray and Soares eased past their first two rounds but found Marcin Matkowski and Leander Paes tricky opposition as they bowed out in two tiebreak sets. 

Best results

The World number one team's best result came at the Australian Open and the US Open, where two of their three titles this year came. In Australia, they brushed past their opposition quite comfortably in the first three rounds, winning each in straight sets. It was Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram who came them stiff competition. The African, American team stole the first set on a tiebreaker but Murray and Soares came back to win the third set on a tiebreaker. In the semifinals, they made light work of the French pairing Adrian Mannarino and Lucas Pouille who were the surprise pair of the tournament. In the final, veteran pairing Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek put up a great battle. Although they continued to cause trouble to their opponents, they narrowly lost out 2-6, 6-4, 7-5. 

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares winning the Australian Open, the first of their two Grand Slam titles (Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares winning the Australian Open, the first of their two Grand Slam titles (Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Following poor performances in the previous two Grand Slams much was not expected of Murray and Soares at the US Open. After making it to the semifinals, the now number one pairing knocked out then defending champions Herbert and Mahut 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. In the final, the surprise pair of Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez were their opponents. Nerves seemed to have got the better of the Spaniards as they were crushed 6-2, 6-3 with the most experienced team coming through for their second Grand Slam of the year. 

Worst results

After their triumph in the Big Apple, Murray and Soares somewhat struggled in their next tournaments. They arrived in Japan at the start of their Asian swing. They easily brushed aside Martin Klizan and Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-1 but found Juan Sebastien Cabal and Robert Farah tough opponents as they bowed out 1-6, 7-6(5), 10-8. They then went to the penultimate Masters event at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. They received a walkover off Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer in the first round. 

But that seemed to do them no favours as Kontinen and Peers advanced in two sets as they finished Asia with two wins and two losses. They then redeemed themselves by making a run to the semifinal in their next tournament at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. However, they would crash out 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 in the final Masters tournament at Paris-Bercy bringing their record to 4-4 in four events leading up to the ATP World Tour Finals

Grade: B+

The Grade may be conceived as harsh but despite winning two Grand Slams, they were best at average in most of their tournaments. Two of their three titles came in the first half of the year while failing to keep any kind of consistency during the second half. The pair did manage to hunt down Herbert and Mahut for the number one doubles spot but they must find improvement at the Masters events in order to retain their top spot. 

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares celebrate becoming world number one (Photo: Jlian Finney/Getty Images)
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares celebrate becoming world number one (Photo: Jlian Finney/Getty Images)
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