Marray takes a share of the limelight

By Philip James

Jonathan Marry and his partner Andre Sa play Robin Hasse and Igor Sijsling for a place in the third round of the men’s double on Saturday.

On a day which sees Andy Murray and Laura Robson take to the show courts, Marray may not be main draw on British attention but the fact that he is taking a share of the limelight shows how monumental 2012 was for him.

Twelve months ago, Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins were the main British interest on the men’s doubles tour, while 2007 Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Jamie Murray still drew attention.

But with Hutching battling cancer and Fleming and Murray reconsidering their newly-formed partnership after a disappointing showing in Melbourne, Marray is continuing to prove that his Wimbledon heroics were not a one-off.

After qualifying for the 2012 ATP World tour finals largely on the back of the Wimbledon title, Marray and Frederik Nielsen proved they were the real deal by qualifying from the round robin group stage.

The 2013 Australian Open men’s double draw saw six Brits in four partnerships but Marray was the only one to make it through to the second round.

Fleming and Murray did not impress in their 7-5 7-5 loss to German Michael Kohlmann and Finn Jarkko Nieminen.

Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski fought back from a first-set bagel against the Poles Tomasz Bednarek and Jerzy Janowicz to take the second set on a tie-break but eventually lost 6-3 in the third.

Meanwhile Dominic Inglot and his regular partner, Filipino Treat Conrad Huey, but up a brave fight against fourth seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau but eventually lost 6-7 7-6 6-3.

Marray was the sole British survivor as he Sa set won a hard fought match against Slovakian duo of Lukas Lacko and Igor Zelenay 4-6 7-5 7-6.

In Dutch pair Hasse and Sijsling, they faces two singles specialists, ranked 152nd and 327th in doubles respectively but inside the top 70 in singles.

With both men exiting the singles draw in the first round, Hasse to Andy Murray, they will be hoping to extend their time in Melbourne by making a run in the doubles.

With the surprise defeat of the second seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in their quarter of the draw, both pairs will know victory could mean a deep run in the tournament.