A Davis Cup champion in 2015 and one of the best doubles players in the world, Jamie Murray promises to continue to deliver outstanding tennis in the competition. In 2019, together with Neal Skupski, he came close to securing a place in the final for his country, and in 2021 the challenge awaits the British again.
Following Fred Perry's successes in the 1930s, Britain had to wait 79 years to lift the Davis Cup trophy again, winning the competition in 2015. Two brothers made it possible: Andy and Jamie Murray. Without them it would be impossible to understand British tennis today.
Alongside Andy's remarkable career as a singles player, older brother Jamie has earned his own place among the elite by being one of the best doubles specialists of the last decade. He reached world number one in 2016 and has already won 24 professional titles, including two Grand Slams.
He made his Davis Cup debut in 2007 alongside Greg Rusedski; that same year he also paired up with another undisputed British tennis hero, Tim Henman. Jamie Murray has represented his country in 21 doubles matches, with a win-loss record of 14-7. He and his brother didn’t play as a pair in the Davis Cup until 2011 and have now played, and won, on six occasions.
What’s your first memory of the Davis Cup? … Not as a player, but when you were younger?
“My first memory of Davis Cup was going to watch Great Britain against Sweden in Birmingham in a World Group match. I was maybe ten or eleven years old. We also played matches against kids from Sweden in the morning. I just remember the atmosphere watching Tim [Henman] and Greg [Rusedski] play. For me, the atmosphere and the noise and stuff was what you remember the most and the passion that is brought by the fans when it’s country versus country and that team element.”
“For me... the atmosphere and the noise and stuff was what you remember the most and the passion that is brought by the fans when it’s country versus country and that team element”.
What does playing for Britain mean to you?
“I really enjoy it. It’s always been fun, always been good experiences. Win or lose, I think over the last few years Britain’s had some amazing Davis Cup experiences, [and] had a good amount of success as well in that time. We get a lot of great support as well; our fans are right into it. There are a few different groups that travel to all the matches, home and away, which is nice and always makes it a fun atmosphere for us to compete in… I imagine that when I look back on my career, some of those Davis Cup matches will be the matches that I remember most.”
The competition recently celebrated 120 years of history. How would you explain what it means today?
“I think Davis Cup is about players coming together to form a team representing their country, which is obviously different from the rest of the year because we’re always competing as individuals. It’s our one opportunity to play for the country and know that everybody who comes to watch has a vested interest in the match. They’re supporting one team or the other; there are no neutrals.”
In 2019 you had the opportunity to play the competition in its new format. What did you think?
“It’s different, obviously. Personally, I was excited to see what it was going to be like… It was cool to have all the players there, wearing their country tracksuits and just to see the different aspects of what this cup is [compared with] regular tournaments that we’re competing in. I think from Britain’s point of view we had a good tournament. We had a lot of people coming to watch us from the UK as well, which obviously made a big difference to our matches.”
“I think we deserved to at least play a third set. In the end, amazing atmosphere, amazing match. [We were] just one or two points short of winning that match”.
When you arrived in Madrid in 2019, did you consider yourselves as one of the favourite teams for the final rounds?
“I think we had a good draw. We had a good group, which I guess we were fortunate with, but of course that was based on recent results in Davis Cup so we had a high seeding. There were a lot of dangerous teams floating around. To… play against Spain in the semi-finals was a great challenge for us, it was a lot of fun and was one of the best atmospheres I’ll ever experience on a tennis court.”
Some people consider that doubles match to be the best of the whole tournament. What do you remember about it?
“A lot of noise! It was a good match, a good level. I think everybody was serving good, I think we had set points in both sets, it was maybe a bit unfortunate not to get any of those points – I think we deserved to at least play a third set. In the end, amazing atmosphere, amazing match... [We were] just one or two points short of winning that match. Obviously, it was disappointing to lose but still great memories. We’ll probably never get the chance to play against Spain, or play against Rafa in Spain in Davis Cup, so it was a great experience. I’m sad we didn’t win and came so close, but that’s sport.”
You mentioned Rafa Nadal, how would you define him?
“There's not much for me to say really that hasn’t been said before. [He’s] an incredible player, obviously one of the best ever whether he finishes with the most Grand Slams or not, I don’t know. I always root for him because he’s my age – I met him when I was, like, 11 years old playing tournaments in France. And he’s left-handed so I root for that, but the most impressive thing and I think so important for our junior players to follow him is just his mindset and mentality; every time he steps on the court, every point that he plays… nobody else has that focus and desire [for] every single point they play, which is kind of superhuman really.”
Don’t miss out! Learn more about Jamie Murray and the British team in the documentary Break Point: A Davis Cup Story. Access it here