June 9, 2020
Jamie Murray knows how to tap into the nation’s love for all things tennis.
His doubles pairings for the much-anticipated Schroders Battle of the Brits are exciting and intriguing in equal measure.
We can’t wait for the six teams to fight it out at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre from June 23-28.
The doubles action will be a particular delight.
And Jamie seems to sense just how many of us find doubles increasingly fascinating.
Maybe it’s the fact that tennis was one of the first sports to be played and enjoyed by the general population after lockdown measures began to be lifted.
Perhaps it’s the way doubles brought more loved ones back together.
We haven’t appreciated a tennis court quite so much in ages.
Is there a better fusion of skill and fun anywhere on the sporting planet?
No wonder doubles is suddenly more popular than ever. The Battle of the Brits will start to satisfy that new appetite.
By the time Wimbledon 2021 comes around, crowds will be flocking to see the doubles stars strut their stuff. They just never fail to put on a spectacular show.
The men who have paired up to do battle later this month are some of the best exponents of their underrated art that we could ever wish to see.
We might as well start with the finest of them all – Jamie Murray himself. He has won seven Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles titles so far. He was also a vital part of the Great Britain team that won the Davis Cup in 2015.
So Jamie Murray and his latest partner Neal Skupski will take some beating when competitive tennis returns to these shores in a few days.
But a man with an even hotter recent record is Joe Salisbury. The lanky Londoner won the Australian Open this year playing alongside Rajeev Ram. That was an incredible achievement. No flash in the pan, either, because the talented Salisbury also reached the Wimbledon semi-finals with Frederik Nielsen in 2018.
For the Battle of the Brits, Salisbury teams up with another former partner from 2018, Jonny O’Mara. They won an ATP Challenger event at Aptos that same year so the combination looks promising.
Dan Evans is another huge name to be making an appearance in the tournament. He has teamed up with Lloyd Glasspool – his partner for part of the grass-court season last summer.
They reached the semi-finals at Surbiton and the quarter-finals in Eastbourne. Anyone who knows Dan Evans will expect fireworks – even in the doubles. Don’t think for a moment that Evans and Glasspool will go down without a fight.
The younger brother of Hollyoaks actor Parry Glasspool, Lloyd also knows how to put on a show. With the cameras there, he will be keen to impress.
There is clearly massive fun to be had but also pride at stake. That will give the matches the healthy edge the tournament deserves.
And no Battle of the Brits would be complete without Kyle Edmund. The Australian Open singles semi-finalist hasn’t played with young British talent Jack Draper before.
Son of former LTA chief executive Roger Draper, Jack reached the final of the Wimbledon Junior Singles in 2018. He is still only eighteen and an exciting prospect. So the Edmund-Draper combination could be truly intriguing.
Cameron Norrie and Liam Broady have often been mentioned in the same breath over the years. So it will surprise many to learn that they have never played doubles together before. This event provides the perfect opportunity.
And the six-team line-up is completed by 2015 Davis Cup winner Dom Inglot, who pairs up with 21-year-old Jay Clarke.
It was Clarke, you may remember, who took Roger Federer to a tie-break at Wimbledon last summer. How we would love to see something similar again at Wimbledon 2021!
But Clarke is also a formidable doubles player. In 2017 on his Wimbledon debut he teamed up with Marcus Willis and beat defending doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a thrilling five-setter.
Inglot and Clarke may be a new combination. Yet they are also an interesting outside bet for glory in the Battle of the Brits.
We all know this isn’t Wimbledon. And we’ll miss the All England Club until we walk through the gates once more for Wimbledon 2021.
For now, however, let’s embrace this unique opportunity to enjoy the best of British. And let’s thank Jamie Murray for his fantastic hard work.
Fans can’t attend the matches this time around. But we can cherish every moment of the action anyway.
Is doubles your passion? If not, we suspect it soon will be! Catch the Battle of the Brits on Amazon Prime and enjoy competitive sport once more.