Jamie Murray believes Olympic disappointment alongside his brother Andy sewed the seeds for his run to the US Open final.
The Murray brothers were one of the favourites to win doubles gold in Rio after their success together in the Davis Cup but they lost in the first round to Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa.
While Andy Murray bounced back in Brazil to clinch gold in the singles, Jamie’s revival has come at Flushing Meadows, where he is on the brink of a second grand slam title with partner Bruno Soares.
The duo are up against Spanish pair Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Arthur Ashe Stadium today as they look to back up their maiden triumph, sealed at the Australian Open in January.
Murray admits failure at the Olympics sharpened his drive for success in New York, with his Canadian coach Louis Cayer offering some stern words of advice.
“It was obviously really disappointing with the result. It wasn’t what I wanted and Louis was really annoyed after how it had gone for me,” Murray said.
“He didn’t say it to Bruno but he said to me: ‘We’re going to win the US Open. I’m going to do whatever it takes to win. We’ll take it match by match, prepare for each match the best we can, and I really think you guys are going to do well’.
“It was just the fact that we had lost, just the way it had worked out. It was a huge event for us and he thought that we deserved better.
“He wants me to do the best that I possibly can. He was really disappointed with how the whole thing had gone. He felt the US Open in a couple of weeks was the right time to have a good tournament.
“We’ve been preparing for that each day and it’s been going well so far.”
Murray and Soares ousted the French pair and defending champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Thursday, who had beaten Murray in last year’s final when he was partnered with Australian John Peers.
Their reward is a championship match against unseeded opponents, after Carreno Busta and Garcia-Lopez pulled off an upset of their own by knocking out their more fancied compatriots Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.
Before this year’s US Open, Carreno Busta and Garcia-Lopez had never gone past the quarter-finals of a major tournament and, speaking before the second semi-final had finished, Murray was open about whom he would rather face.
“I’d rather play Carreno Busta and Garcia-Lopez,” Murray said.
Soares added: “The team that goes to the final, it’s because they are doing a lot of things well. It’s going to be a tough one no matter what.
“Everyone who has won five matches in this tournament is feeling good for sure and it’s going to be a close match. We’ve got to perform our best.”
Serena Williams admits her pursuit of a record-breaking 23rd grand slam title was hampered by a knee injury after she crashed out to Karolina Pliskova.
Williams was bidding to surpass Steffi Graf’s Open-era record 22 major triumphs but she bowed out in Arthur Ashe Stadium to a ruthless Pliskova, who won 6-2 7-6 (7/5).
The top seed’s disappointment is doubled as she also surrenders the world No 1 ranking to Angelique Kerber.
Pliskova will meet Kerber in today’s final after the German overcame Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3 in the other semi-final.
It is the second year running Williams has lost here in the semis and the 34-year-old, who turns 35 later this month, was hobbling in the second set.
After the match, she revealed she had been nursing a problem with her left knee in New York since round two.
“Yeah, I have been having some serious left knee problems,” Williams said.
“I wasn’t able to move the way I wanted to move. When you’re injured you’re thinking of other things when you should be just playing and thinking of your shots.
“My mind was just a little bit everywhere. But it was what it was.”
Williams was reluctant to discuss how long the injury might affect her and the rest of her schedule this year.