FOR the fourth year in a row, Jamie Murray caught the flight back from the US Open with some additional silverware to pack in his hand luggage. The only additional complication this year, after he claimed a remarkable seventh Grand Slam title in all in the mixed doubles at Flushing Meadows, once more in the company of Bethanie Mattek-Sands, was the fact his tickets home with British Airways were rendered worthless due to the pilot’s strike.

The 33-year-old’s journey back might have been re-routed through Shannon, but he has safely made it to Glasgow, where he will play a starring role in the inaugural Murray Trophy, which begins at Scotstoun today. “I have been on a good run in New York, it has been good to me these last few years,” said Jamie. “I like playing there, I like the conditions, I like the atmosphere and the environment and stuff. I like being in New York City as well. I just enjoy the whole package. We played really well in the semi-finals and final and I had a good run in the men’s doubles as well [with Neal Skupski] which was great for me and Neal for building confidence in the partnership.


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“It was a great feeling to win again, obviously, that’s why we do the practice and commitments and sacrifice, for the chance to lift these trophies," he added. "But we didn’t celebrate, we flew home that night so we pretty much just went to the airport. And the thing was we lost our tickets because of the British Airways strike so we ended up flying back through Shannon.

“It was nice to get on the plane with the trophy but we didn’t really celebrate in style. We drank some champagne out of the trophy and stuff but I was just too tired! You just take it on board with you and I was just glad to be home because it was a long six weeks.”

This is the first running in its current guise for the Murray Trophy, which was placed in the schedule in May last year and called the plain-old Glasgow trophy. The Murray family name – Jamie has been heavily involved in the organisation of the event – has helped attract a decent calibre of players, with foreign talent such as Malek Jaziri and Ruben Bemelmans taking on the best young British talent such as Jay Clarke, Jack Draper and Scotland’s very own Aidan McHugh. Jamie is entered into the doubles where he will play with Australia’s John-Patrick Smith, with Skupski getting a well-earned week off.


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“Neal played so much this year, from Wimbledon he went to play team tennis for three weeks and then went straight into the Masters series and then New York and stuff,” said Jamie, who was helping out yesterday at a Judy Murray Foundation event at Scotstoun. “It’s better for him to rest, then we have four or five more tournaments before the end of the year. This isn’t a tournament that’s going to change our ranking or anything like that so it is better for him to have some time off. I am playing with JP Smith so hopefully we can have a good run.

“It’s cool to have the Murray name on the trophy,” he added. “The fact we’re associated with it probably raises a bit more awareness rather than just being called the Glasgow Challenge and we’re glad to put our name to it. I want the event to go really well and people to come and enjoy the tennis and the experience, whether that’s kids or adults."

**The Judy Murray Foundation is a charitable body that seeks to bring tennis to rural and disadvantaged areas in Scotland