French Open: Jamie Murray ends doubles partnership with Bruno Soares

Murray and Soares discuss tactics
Murray and Soares began playing together in 2016
2019 French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 26 May - 9 June
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Jamie Murray says it is the right time "to do something different" after ending his successful doubles partnership with Bruno Soares.

Murray will partner fellow Briton Neal Skupski for the grass-court season.

Scot Murray, 33, and Brazilian Soares, 37, won two Grand Slam titles since teaming up in 2016,

They played their last match on Tuesday, a 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) French Open first-round defeat by Italians Lorenzo Sonego and Matteo Berrettini.

Murray told BBC Sport it was his decision to split.

"We had an amazing three and a half years together, a lot of great memories, won a lot of big tournaments and had a lot of fun along the way," he said.

"We had a great partnership, there is no disputing that.

"Bruno is one of my best friends on the tour but it felt like it was time for something different. That's life.

"Obviously, it was a difficult conversation to have with Bruno. It is not an easy thing to do but it had to be done."

Murray and Soares won the Australian Open and US Open on their way to ending 2016 as the world's number one doubles pair.

They won 10 ATP titles and reached another nine finals.

"I don't take it personally," said Soares, who will team up with Croat Mate Pavic.

"We are good friends but it is our job and if he thinks it is best for him to change things up and play with a different partner then you have to respect that."

I couldn't turn down this chance - Skupski

Murray had dismissed suggestions he could play alongside his brother - former world number one singles player Andy - in the doubles at Wimbledon.

Skupski, 29, said he could not turn down the chance to work with six-time Grand Slam champion Murray, who approached him recently in Rome about working together until at least the end of the year.

But he said it was a difficult decision to split up his partnership with older brother Ken.

"Obviously, I had to think about it, because if my brother wasn't involved then it's an easy 'yes'," said Skupski.

"There are opportunities that can come from playing with Jamie - maybe Davis Cup, Olympics - and it will help me progress through the rankings.

"Ken and I have had our best year so far this year, so it's an unfortunate time. But you can't turn the number six guy in the world down."

Murray and Skupski have entered the grass-court tournament at s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands which starts on 10 June.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Skupski brothers beat fellow Britons Jonny O'Mara and Luke Bambridge 6-1 6-2 win to reach the second round, where they will face 16-time Grand Slam champions Bob and Mike Bryan.

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