It’s always good to come to Asia! You know you’re only going to be here for a couple of weeks, so to put forth our best result at an ATP Masters 1000 and make the final here is great.
We played well against Mate Pavic and Marin Cilic in the semis. I think with the format the way it is, no-ad scoring and a super tie-break instead of a third set, it allows the singles players to know that the matches aren’t going to go that long so they can play doubles more and more.
Seeing the singles guys play is what you want. It forces the doubles guys to lift their level and allows crowds to come watch the singles guys and get to know the doubles guys which is also good. Anytime you can get more singles guys playing and involved in the doubles, it helps grow the game, not just for doubles but also tennis as a whole because it’s a different format and something a little more fast-going.
I knew after the US Open last year that I’d have to look for a new partner. After making the Wimbledon and US Open finals; Jamie Murray and I left each other on very good terms and in a good position to move on after such a successful partnership. I spoke to Henri Kontinen and we were both looking to play a similar amount of tournaments and a similar schedule so I thought it’d be a good fit.
We knew if we started being really successful together, it could be a longer-term partnership because we’re both so young. We came out of the blocks really well, gelled really quickly, winning our very first tournament together in Brisbane.
As a team, you spend so much time together and you learn what each person wants to do, not only on the court but off the court. You learn what makes a person tick and how to make the other person feel comfortable. In a way, it’s exactly like a marriage but a little more entertaining because you can get the space as well when you need to. That’s probably the best way to describe a doubles partnership.
This year Henri and I haven’t done quite as well in the bigger events but we still won three events which is a good year. We’ve put ourselves in a situation where we can still sneak into London which is what we wanted. That’s what we were thinking before Asia but we may be able to get in a bit easier if we get through tomorrow’s final. It’s a really fun event that once you experience it once, you always want to try and get back for.
The ATP put on not just a tennis tournament but a great show. The crowd gets involved and what they do around the O2 arena, for London, for the spectators is huge. They don’t leave any stone unturned. It’s a huge spectacle. That’s the way tennis has got to go to bring a different crowd and a different environment into it. The more and more times we can put our game in that situation, to showcase just how good a sport it is, it’s perfect for the game.
I’m looking forward to just putting the racquets down for a couple of weeks which will be nice and getting some sunshine back in Australia. It’s tough traveling week in and week out and playing so many weeks on the road. Especially as an Australian, you’re always away from home for extended periods of time. That said, you end up having the tennis community as your family because everyone’s so close together, they support each other.
More and more, you have your partner and support people on the road with you it’s a big thing. It keeps things stable and keeps things healthy. I’m actually getting married at the end of the year, so that’s something to definitely look forward to, something completely away from sport.
But it’s a good time to be playing tennis. The level of tennis being played in this era is by far something impressive to see. And there’s going to be a transition phase coming up because Federer, Nadal and those guys, they can’t be around forever. But more importantly, the tennis is not only just getting better, it’s growing. When you see the sport growing, you know it’s going to be healthy for the future.