How do you follow up a career year with an even better one? One should look no further than Jamie Murray.
In 2015, the doubles specialist made the final at Wimbledon and the US Open, and qualified for the year-end championships, all with Australian John Peers. But instead of riding that momentum into 2016, the pair split up at Murray’s behest with the Scot deciding to partner Brazilian veteran Bruno Soares.
The result? A place in the history books.
Murray and Soares finished atop the ATP team rankings for 2016, making Murray and younger sibling Andy the first brothers in history to hold No. 1 rankings at the same time.
The Murray-Soares pairing was a hit from the start as they advanced to the semifinals in their first tournament of the year in Doha. From there, it was on to Australia, where they went undefeated over two events, including at the year’s first Slam. The Australian Open title was the first men’s major doubles title for both Murray and Soares.
The bulk of the season between the first major of 2016 and the last, the US Open, didn’t yield any titles. However, Jamie did beat Andy to a rather significant milestone, reaching No. 1 in his chosen discipline first.
And Murray and Soares did manage to put their title drought behind them shortly after that by mustering up another title-winning effort in New York.
Although that was their last title of 2016, a semifinal run at the ATP World Tour Finals clinched the top team ranking.
As for Peers, the split from Murray worked out for him as well, as he and his new partner Henri Kontinen won five titles over the year, including the year-end championships in London.
That’s surely a title Murray will be aiming for next season, and if 2016 proved anything, the Murray brothers are willing to do whatever it takes to be on top.