Andy Murray will join hands with brother Jamie at the Washington Open 2019 on Tuesday with a difficult first round match. The Murray pair will take on Frenchmen Edourd Roger-Vasselin and Nicolas Mahut in their opener.
This will be the first time that the Murray brothers will pair up since the 2016 Davis Cup while featuring in their first ever ATP competition since 2013. And Jamie, writing in his column for the BBC website, said the two decided to pair up after his regular partner Neal Skupski opted out because of his prior commitments.
He said in his column:
“I was always looking for someone to play with in Washington so it’s great that Andy is able to do it. I had asked Andy what his plans were for the summer while he was waiting to get some of the feedback from the physical testing he had been doing for his hip. Once he got the all clear, he was able to make a plan.”
However, it wouldn’t be an easy match-up for the Murray brothers as they are up against Roger-Vasselin and Nicolas Mahut, who had made it as far as the Wimbledon final in their previous campaign. They went down to Juan Sebastien Cabal and Robert Farah in a stiff five-setter at that Grand Slam title-decider.
Interestingly, Jamie and his regular partner Skupski had beaten these two in the first round at the Queen’s competition, which should give the British pairing some confidence.
Speaking of their preparation, Jamie wrote while they practiced on Wednesday in the lead-up to the Citi Open, they will play again once they land in Washington. He revealed their practice will consist of tactics and positioning given Andy Murray doesn’t play a lot of doubles.
Jamie cited the example of the Bryan brothers and their communication as brothers which has helped them win 16 Grand Slam titles, and said that same bond will help them too.
Cabal and Farah are the top seeds going into the tournament, along with the other seeds, Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo, Raven Klaasen/Michael Venus and Mate Pavic/Bruno Soares, who are seeded second, third and fourth respectively.
Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas will pair up as well, and begin their campaign against the top seeded pair, while veteran Leander Paes will combine with Jack Sock to take on the Aussie pair of Alex di Minaur and John Peer in the first round round match.
The Bryan brothers will also be a part of the competition, while another British player Joe Salisbury will partner Rajeev Ram.