JAMIE Murray will have to wait at least another year to win the ATP Tour Finals after he and Bruno Soares were outplayed by his former partner John Peers and Henri Kontinen in the semi-finals at London’s O2 last night.

Their 7-6, 6-2 defeat by the defending champions saw them bow out in the semi-finals for the second successive year but they can have no complaints after Kontinen and Peers produced a confident, impressive performance to clinch a deserved win on the night.

After three titles in 2017 but

Loading article content

relatively disappointing displays in the grand-slam events, Murray and Soares harboured hopes of victory in London, especially after the way they had hammered top seeds Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot in their final round-robin match on Friday.

But Kontinen and Peers, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles this year, exuded confidence,

forcing Murray and Soares to come up with some stunning tennis to even stay on terms in the first set.

Winners in four of their five meetings, and both their clashes in 2017, the holders saved one break point on the Kontinen serve in the third game but that was the last time their serves were under any real threat.

Peers, so often criticised for his volleying skills when partnering Murray for three years from 2013-2016, was a livewire at the net, putting the normally unflappable Soares out of his stride.

Still Murray and Soares fought hard, never more so than when they found themselves 40-0 down at 5-6 in the opening set. The fourth seeds saved the first two with good Soares serves before Murray found the baseline with a first volley on the third and then Soares hit three rock solid volleys and then put away the smash to force a tie-break.

That might have given them momentum but Peers thundered a forehand return to the feet of Murray for the first mini-break at 4-2 and Kontinen then muscled a backhand return for a winner to extend their advantage, before going on to take it 7-2.

The first game of the second set proved to be key, Murray losing his rhythm after a challenge at 15-15 and Kontinen and then Peers found two great returns to find the break for 1-0.

Jamie Murray produced the kind of lob brother Andy would be proud of to take the first point on the Peers serve in the sixth game as they tried to hit back. But Kontinen and Peers remained solid and when the Finn snuck a backhand volley past Murray and on to the sideline for a second break, Murray put his hands on his knees, knowing the end was near.

Kontinen and Peers will now take on Kubot and Melo for the title.

There was a big surprise in the singles semi-finals, with Roger Federer going out 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to David Goffin, a disappointing end to what has been a stunning year. The Belgian will face Grigor Dimitrov after he overcame Jack Sock 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.