Mixed doubles dream team
She’s a seven-time Wimbledon singles champion, while he’s only won at SW19 twice, but Serena Williams and Andy Murray are to partner each other in the mixed doubles at this year’s tournament, it has been announced.
Following an injury-hit couple of seasons and a second hip surgery at the beginning of the year, we all knew that Murray wouldn’t be playing singles tennis at Wimbledon this year – with his attentions always focused on competing in the doubles competition. After searching for a mixed doubles partner – and being rejected by the women’s world number 1 Ashleigh Barty, as he revealed in his BBC Sport column – the Williams/Murray partnership was announced, much to the joy of the media and no doubt, tennis fans everywhere.
Williams had originally remained coy about the prospect, teasing the media in the aftermath of her first-round singles victory over Italian, Giulia Gatto-Monticone. When asked: “Could you give us a rough percentage of how likely you think it is you would play with Andy?”; Williams responded: “I don’t know. If you guys really want it, then maybe I’ll do it” and followed up with a confirmation: “Yeah? All right, done, just for you guys. Don’t forget.”
Murray on Williams
“Serena is obviously a brilliant player, has a great doubles record and is brilliant on grass obviously. She’s arguably the best player ever… So, she’d be a solid partner.”
Williams on Murray
“We’re a lot alike on the court. I’ve always liked that about him. His work ethic is just honestly off the charts. That’s something I’ve always respected about him. His fitness, everything. To do what he’s done in an era where there’s so many other great male tennis players, so much competition, to rise above it, not many people have done it. He’s actually one of the few.”
The Dream Team
Between the two of them, Williams and Murray have won 26 singles Grand Slam titles, as well as a further 16 in the doubles and mixed doubles combined. The pair also both tasted success at the All England Club in 2016, with Williams winning the women’s singles title and Murray, the men’s singles title.
Murray has never won a doubles Grand Slam, with the second round the furthest he’s gone; however, he made the 2012 Olympic final with Laura Robson, with the pair coming runners-up to Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi of Belarus. Williams on the other hand, has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, partnered with her sister, and two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
First up for the pair in this year’s competition is the German/Chilean duo of Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi, with the winners going on to face the 14th seeds of Fabrice Martin (France) and Raquel Atawo (USA), who like all the seeded couples, received a bye to the second round. It will be a packed programme for the pairing, with Williams facing Kaja Juvan in the second round of the women’s singles and Murray playing in the doubles alongside Frenchman, Pierre-Hughes Herbert.
So, can they perfectly complement each other to go all the way? We can’t see why not, especially considering they’re both former world number 1s. Tim Henman even chipped in, suggesting they’d be favourites; while former Grand Slam winner Lindsay Davenport remarked: “They’re such great champions to bring excitement to the tournament. Just to have Andy back playing is really great.”
Murray may not be participating in the men’s singles this time around, but you can find all the latest Wimbledon 2019 men’s competition markets on Betfair.
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