Jamie's Journey To No. 1

Scot rises to the summit of men's professional doubles

Jamie Murray is the new No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings. Next week, the 30-year-old Scot replaces Brazil's Marcelo Melo, who has been in top spot for 22 weeks since 2 November 2015.

While he was the first of the Murray brothers to win a Grand Slam title, with Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon in 2007, consistent performances on the ATP World Tour proved to be elusive. In late 2010, Murray found himself outside of the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings. And, just like his past experiences as a teenager, when, as one of Europe's top junior players he moved between a number of academies, he found himself struggling for stability and direction.

It wasn't until 10 years into his professional career, in teaming up with John Peers early in the 2013 ATP World Tour season, that Murray began to forge a successful partnership after a number of short-term arrangements.

"I think if I didn't start playing with John when I did, I am not sure how long I would have played," Murray, who has had 63 different doubles partners, told ATPWorldTour.com. "I was kind of floating around, not really with a regular partner and I had no direction as to what I was doing. John and I hit it off right away and we could see the partnership developing. We won three tournaments that year [2013] and I was ranked around No. 30 [in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings]."

In their three-year partnership, which ended with an appearance at last year's Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Murray and Peers reached 16 tour-level finals, including the 2015 Wimbledon and US Open title matches, and lifted six trophies. "I think we complemented each other, once we started to understand each other's game styles and used each other's strengths to win points," Murray said. "I just wanted to do whatever it took to make the partnership as strong as possible."

Since the start of 2015 Wimbledon, he has gone 41-13, and stepped decisively out of his younger brother's shadow. "I have not been envious of Andy," admitted Murray. "But I've tried to use his positive energy to help me." As one of the world's finest volleyers, Murray's movement not only improved, but, under the guidance of his coach, Louis Cayer, he began to use his backhand as a weapon in constructing points.

Success as part of Great Britain's 2015 Davis Cup-winning team only highlighted his growing confidence and skill set, and, by January 2016, his hard work and dedication paid off, when, with his new partner, Bruno Soares, Murray clinched his first Grand Slam men's doubles trophy. With brother, Andy, taking photos in the stands, under 24 hours before his singles final against Novak Djokovic, the family united to celebrate at the Australian Open.

Today, Murray can savour his accomplishment, a culmination of team work, hard work and perseverance. Just five weeks after the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, Murray will become the 48th player to rise to No. 1. Congratulations, Jamie.

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