Serena Williams to partner Andy Murray at Wimbledon as mixed doubles plan confirmed | Tennis | Sport


Andy Murray had to cut short his practice on Tuesday having finished the session limping.

But there was already better news later on in the afternoon when Wimbledon confirmed he would not start his men’s doubles campaign until Thursday to allow opponent Ugo Humbert to compete in his singles match.

Then Williams – somewhat reluctantly – announced to eager British journalists that she would be joining him in the mixed later in the fortnight.

“I’m just going to see how I feel today, then go from there,” she said initially. Then added: “This is crazy! We’ll see. I could use extra matches so… Could be something.

“If you guys really want it, then maybe I’ll do it.”

And when it was confirmed that it was exactly what the public wants, Williams smiled.

“All right, done, just for you guys!” she said.

The 23-time singles grand slam champion can pick and choose her partners and, in more serious mood, paid tributes to the qualities that persuaded her to team up with Murray – although appeared to credit his mother Judy with an assist over the decision.

“His work ethic is just honestly off the charts,” she said. “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.

There’s so many things to be admired. Above all, he really stands out, he really speaks up about women’s issues no matter what.

“You can tell he has a really strong woman in his life. I think above all that is just fantastic.”

On Tuesday night, Murray’s representatives confirmed he would arrive at the All England Club in plenty of time to sign the official sheet before Wednesday’s 11am deadline.

On Tuesday, Murray had to cut short his practice having finished the session limping.

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