Andy and Jamie Murray beaten in emotional Centre Court doubles clash

Andy Murray was given a hero’s reception as he began his final Wimbledon alongside his brother Jamie but the Centre Court crowd could not inspire them to victory.

Playing together in men’s doubles at the All England Club for the first time, the pair had hoped to write a memorable last chapter in an incredible story.

But the two-time former singles champion and seven-time grand slam doubles champion Jamie were beaten 7-6 (6) 6-4 by Australian duo Rinky Hijikata and John Peers.

Andy Murray celebrates winning a point in trademark fashion
Andy Murray celebrates winning a point in trademark fashion (Mike Egerton/PA)

In a video published by Wimbledon earlier, Murray was filmed writing a postcard to himself as a wild-haired teenager about to make his first appearance.

“Number one: Get a haircut. Number two: Get some clothes that fit. And three: Try to enjoy it, it will be gone before you know it,” he wrote.

Nearly 20 years later, Murray’s final rodeo on the most important stage of all has arrived. Denied the chance to play singles by his troublesome back, the Scot fittingly signed up for a fraternal pairing before adding mixed doubles with Emma Raducanu.

The excitement fizzing around Centre Court was reminiscent of the atmosphere before a final rather than a first-round doubles match, which are usually relegated to the outside courts in the gloaming.

The brothers’ father Willie made a rare appearance in their support box along with mother Judy, Andy’s wife Kim and his oldest two daughters, eight-year-old Sophia and six-year-old Edie.

As the doors opened to welcome the players on to the court, the packed crowd rose together to acclaim the two-time singles champion.

Kim, second left, and Judy Murray, right, were there to support along with Andy Murray's oldest two daughters
Kim, second left, and Judy Murray, right, were there to support along with Andy Murray’s oldest two daughters (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

The tennis seemed almost incidental, but it would go against everything that has made Andy so loved and respected if his main priority was not trying to win the match.

It took less than three games for the 37-year-old to wince and hold his lower back after an awkward movement but he quickly shrugged it off, and there was nothing to choose between the pairs until the tie-break, when the Australian duo saved a set point before taking their first opportunity.

A collective groan grew louder when Andy faced three break points in the opening game of the second set but he saved all of them and then let out a huge roar when the brothers clinched the first break of serve.

The Murrays are unbeaten together in Davis Cup but the last of those matches came nearly eight years ago and they were not always in sync here. A break up quickly shifted to a break down and, soon after, an early exit.