The Australian Open has just begun in Melbourne, and the Murray brothers have both entered the tournament for the first time as world number one – Andy in Singles and Jamie in Doubles. Jamie has already been dethroned, but will the hard courts of the Australian Open claim Andy as well?

We’ve looked into how they came to rule the tennis world.

Humble Beginnings

Elder Murray brother Jamie was born in Dunblane, Scotland to Judith and William Murray on 13 February 1986 and attended Dunblane Primary School with his brother Andy. They were both present during the traumatic 1996 Dunblane Primary School shooting, and both had to take cover in their classrooms under their desks.

Jamie started tennis young and became number 2 in Europe by the age of 10 and world number 2 by 13. He was selected to go to Leys school in Cambridge, but didn’t like the training, and returned home. After this experience he didn’t want to touch a tennis racket for almost 2 years. In 2004 he partnered with brother Andy and they reached the semi finals of the Junior US Open.

Jamie is more comfortable playing doubles in his adult career and has since been rising steadily through the ranks with various partners in doubles on the ATP Tour. In 2016 he reached the number 2 spot after he partnered with Brazilian Bruno Soares and the pair won their first Grand Slam in Men’s Doubles at the Australian Open. This brought him his number 2 ranking. After defeating Marcelo Melo at the Miami Masters, Soares and Murray became the new world number 1s and overtook Melo on the 4th of April, and they continued their winning streak by taking the US Open title in September 2016. Additionally, he was awarded an OBE in the 2016 Honours list for services to tennis and charity.

The Younger Brother

Andy was born in Glasgow on 15 May 1987, and grew up with his elder brother Jamie and mother Judy and dad William in Dunblane in Scotland. Andy first became British Number 1 in 2006 and now has an enviable list of accolades. Andy Murray is a three-time Grand Slam champion, two-time Olympic Gold medalist, Davis Cup champion and the winner of the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals. After winning the 2016 Paris Masters, Murray became world Number One on 7 November 2016. He was knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2017, and has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award a record three times.

What Is Happening in Melbourne?

Andy’s main opposition and world number 2 Novak Djokovic has already been knocked out by the relatively unknown Uzbek, Denis Istomin, a wildcard in this year’s tournament and world number 117, making Andy the favourite to win the title. It looks like Andy’s main competition will now be from either one of his Swiss rivals Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka. If he can best them, he will go on to most likely face newly injury-free Rafael Nadal, or Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic in the semi final, both of whom will be looking to knock Andy off the top spot. Or maybe Denis Istomin will shock us all and go all the way to the final and win the Grand Slam himself!

What About Jamie?

Unfortunately, Jamie Murray and partner Bruno Soares have already been knocked out in the first round in Melbourne by Sam Querrey and Donald Young. This means that Jamie is likely to lose his number one doubles ranking only months after claiming it, and the pair are out of the running to defend their Australian Open title. All eyes will now be on the two US pairs Sam Querrey and Donald Young, and the Bryan brothers. Murray and Soares’ old rivals Marcelo Mela and Lukasz Kubot may also take the title, particularly after Nick Kyrgios dropped out of doubles with Brit Dan Evans after losing his grueling 5 sets singles match to Italy’s Andreas Seppi. Either way, it’s already game set and match for Jamie and Bruno in Melbourne!

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