Monday, July 17, 2017

Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis win Wimbledon mixed doubles crown

  • Pair triumph in battle of the Brits against Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen
  • Straight-sets victory gives Murray fourth grand slam title and Hingis her 23rd
Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis hold their trophies after winning the Wimbledon mixed doubles crown.

Jamie Murray ensured the family name will be on a Wimbledon trophy for the third time in five years as he and the former world No1 Martina Hingis beat the defending champions Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen of Finland 6-4, 6-4 to win the mixed doubles crown.

After the painful end to Andy Murray’s title defence, it was left to Jamie to produce the goods and he and Hingis, the No1 seeds, duly clinched victory in 74 minutes.

“I have to thank Martina for asking me as I wasn’t going to play mixed doubles,” Murray said. “When she texted me, it was an easy decision to play, she’s such a great player. Anyone in the locker room would have jumped at the chance to play with her. I really enjoyed the whole week. It’s a great achievement. Any time you win a grand slam, get your name up on the board again, it’s there forever. No one will take it away from you.”
Andy Murray, notoriously nervous when watching his brother play, was lurking in the locker room during the match but was there to congratulate him soon after he came off court. “I just saw him there,” Jamie said. “He said he came in the middle of the first set. I think he just waited in the lockers. He said he didn’t watch it. I don’t know if he snuck a few points in or not.”

With Murray and Watson on opposite sides of the net, it was a win-win situation for British fans on Centre Court, most of whom had stuck around after seeing Roger Federer clinch a record eighth singles title earlier in the day. And they were rewarded with a match full of power, angles, deft volleys and outstanding movement around the net, especially from Murray, whose net skills left the crowd gasping at times.

Murray/Hingis beat Watson/Kontinen to win Wimbledon mixed doubles – live!
Jamie Murray and Martina Hingis beat Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson 6-4, 6-4 as they closed this year’s Wimbledon on Centre Court

Hingis was the runner-up to Kontinen and Watson last year alongside Leander Paes but when she dumped the Indian in favour of Murray, the Scot knew he had a great chance to add to his grand slam tally. Ten years after partnering Jelena Jankovic to victory here, this was his fourth grand slam crown in all while Hingis took her total to 23, five singles, 12 women’s doubles and six mixed, five of which have come since the beginning of 2015.

The big-hitting Kontinen, the men’s doubles world No1, had his moments and Watson held her own but last year’s champions were always up against it with Hingis’s dipping returns perfectly complementing Murray’s sharp net play. After trading early breaks, Watson was broken for the second time at 3-3 and they closed out the opening set.

Kontinen and Watson had two chances to break the Murray serve at 3-2 up in the second set but could not take them. A slightly mis-hit return from Hingis set up two break points for the top seeds on the Watson serve at 3-3 and they took the second to get the vital break as Watson hit a forehand into the net. After Hingis held to love, the pair saved three break points to serve out for the title.
Kontinen said he and Watson had not taken their chances but they hope to team up again next year. Murray and Hingis have yet to discuss future plans but it seems likely they will defend their title next summer and they may even play together in the US Open later this summer.

Hingis, who won the singles here 20 years ago, admitted she was “not used to no” when she asks someone to play mixed doubles. “Here, it’s always tough,” she said. “I understand in the past guys would have said no because they really want to focus on doubles only because it’s three‑out-of-five [sets]. This is the only tournament that still does it. It’s definitely easier to ask somebody at the other three grand slams and not Wimbledon. But I was definitely hoping for a yes.”

As Jamie said: “It was a good decision by both of us.”

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