Jamie Murray believes he is better equipped than ever to win the sport’s biggest titles.

The 33-year-old Scot, who has won seven Grand Slam titles, kick-started his quest for an eighth when he and Neal Skupski won their opening-round match at the Australian Open yesterday.

Murray and Skupski, the No.14 seeds who began their partnership in 2019, beat Vasek Pospisil of Canada and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-4, 6-4, setting up a clash with Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey.

On the day when Serena Williams, at 38, was ousted at Melbourne Park, Murray was asked if he feels the nerves more, as he gets older, or less.

“I don’t know if I get more nervous or less nervous but I think I understand more what I need to do to deal with the situation, whether it’s a Grand Slam final or the first round against two tough opponents,” Murray said. “I feel like I’ve experienced a lot on the tennis court. I know my game, I know what my mindset needs to be in order for me to get out on the court and perform well.

“Potentially, in the past, this could have been a difficult match, in terms of getting ready for it, preparing, because no one wants to lose in the first round and you kind of play nervous against two guys who’ve got big games and it’s not their priority, singles is their priority, so they’re not bothered, they’re getting out, smashing balls round.

“I think more for me it’s understanding those situations better and getting your mindset right to compete.”

Murray and Skupski are beginning to forge a good partnership and they looked strong against Pospisil, a former Wimbledon doubles champion, and Hurkacz, one of the Tour’s rising singles stars.

“Great start for us,” Murray said. “That was a tough draw – two good singles players. Vasek has had a lot of success in doubles. We knew we were going to have to be at it right from the start. I think it was good. It really focused us the last few days. Yeah, I’m really happy to win and get through to the next round.”

Murray and Skupski plan to play together in all of the Grand Slams this year, while they could yet team up in the Olympics, in Tokyo, but much will depend on the fitness of Andy Murray, who is still recovering from pelvic bruising. Should the two-time defending Olympic champion be fully fit, then it’s possible the Murray brothers could team up once again.

“My plan just now is to play with Neal,” Murray said. “Whether Andy is fit or not is a different story, but it depends, I guess, on rankings and things like that. I guess we just have to see closer to the time who’s qualified as well.

“For us right now, we’ve played a lot of matches, we’ve played against a lot of good teams [who] we’re going to be playing this year. It makes sense for us to do that but obviously, I guess, if Andy’s fit and healthy, he’ll obviously have a say in what the teams are going to be. Which is fair enough.”

An all-Murray combination might well be the best chance Britain has of winning a medal and the final choice will be made by the LTA, albeit with Andy Murray’s input, as the leading player.

Jamie Murray said Britain also have other options but his real focus is on building his relationship with Skupski.

“My focus this year was trying to do the best we can with Neal and keep trying to build on our partnership and be the best team. Olympics is not going to change that, whether I play with Neal or someone else.”