JAMIE Murray and Bruno Soares’ defence of their US Open title came to an end in the quarter-finals but the Scot remains on track for a second successive grand slam mixed doubles trophy.

After losing 6-1, 6-2 to Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau with Soares, Murray picked himself up to partner Martina Hingis to a 6-3, 2-6, 10-8 victory over Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal in the mixed quarter-finals.

Murray and Hingis marked their debut as a partnership by winning the Wimbledon title and are now two victories away from a notable double, with Tecau and Coco Vandeweghe their next opponents.

“We did really well to win because the tie-break was super close and then we played a few good points at the end to get through,” said Murray. “So I was really happy with that, especially after the way the men’s doubles went.

“I think we fancy our chances against whoever we’re playing against. It’s obviously a bit more stressful playing here than Wimbledon because the format’s a lot shorter. I’m looking forward to it, another chance of getting to a grand slam final.”

Murray and Soares had eased into the last eight without dropping a set but had a nightmare start, losing the first five games, and could not recover.

It was a very disappointing way for their title defence to end, and Murray, who has been struggling with knee pain, said: “We didn’t have a good day.

“We started off badly, we served a lot of double faults to donate our serves and then those guys had a lot of confidence after that. They played really well. We didn’t really do ourselves justice but they zoned.”

The defeat ends a disappointing season in the slams for Murray and Soares, who won the Australian Open and US Open titles last year but have failed to make it past the quarter-finals in any of the four tournaments in 2017.

However, they have had a good year elsewhere, winning three titles and reaching two more finals on the ATP Tour.

Murray said: “Being defending champion doesn’t guarantee you anything obviously. But we played three really good matches up to this point, it was just unfortunate that today we were off and they were really on.

“It would have been difficult to match last year. We did two quarter-finals, we probably should have done better at the French Open but we’ve still had a great year. We’ve qualified already for the O2 and we’ve still got lots to play for.”

Elsewhere, Venus Williams seized her moment to win a thrilling clash with Petra Kvitova and reach her first US Open semi-final in seven years.

After final defeats at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the 37-year-old finds herself within two victories of a first grand slam title on home soil since 2001.

She was pushed all the way in a captivating duel, eventually prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2).