Murray and Williams irresistible in entertaining Wimbledon opener
06 July 2019 / 21:02
It was a star-studded Super Saturday at Wimbledon with sporting greats aplenty in the Royal Box - but nothing was ever going to outshine the dream team of Andy Murray and Serena Williams.
With two-time singles champion Murray opting to play doubles this year whispers had circulated for weeks on a possible link up with megastar Williams and now we know, it’s a winning combination.
The world had to wait another day with Murray and Williams’ opener postponed but finally it came, last on Centre Court as Sir Mo Farah, Sir Chris Hoy and 15,000 others tried to contain their excitement.
What they witnessed was pure box office entertainment as two great champions laughed, smiled and displayed their long-held class in a 6-4 6-1 win over Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi.
“It was fun towards the end of the match,” Murray said. “When you're in control on the scoreboard it's easier to relax and enjoy it, whereas the first set, we were obviously taking it seriously to win.
“We had a bunch of chances but didn't get them and thankfully got the 5-4 game.
“For me it was a great experience being back on Centre Court with Serena after the last year or so being tough.”
So the special relationship is under way, the GB great with two Olympic golds and Williams four, the American superstar also bringing seven Wimbledon singles titles to a very experienced table.
That they won comfortably is a sign of class, especially coming after both had been on court earlier in the day – Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert exiting the men’s doubles but Williams overcoming Julia Goerges.
It was a party atmosphere on Centre Court and Murray and Williams fuelled it, beaming smiles for much of the contest as they took the new partnership for a spin.
There were stumbling blocks, Williams sprawled on the turf clutching the net at one stage but remaining full of laughs.
The two greats exuded champion presence throughout and as they started to complement each other as the match wore on, they had too much for their opponents.
“At some point I started feeling a lot of pressure,” said Williams. “I thought I had to do well because this match is so hyped that even I wanted to see it!
“I didn't even want to be in it, I kind of just wanted to watch it!”
The blockbuster pairing will meet 14th seeds Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo in the second round, while Murray paid tribute to Williams post-match.
“The thing that's impressive is after the amount of success that someone like Serena has had for such a long period, to still be out there at eight o’clock at night having already won a singles, and just wanting to win and being competitive,” he added.
“I don't think people always appreciate how difficult that is to do.
“I think because of what Serena and Roger Federer have done for such a long period it's kind of taken for granted a little bit – but it's impressive!”
Elsewhere at the All England Club, Great Britain’s Dan Evans fell to an agonising five-set defeat to Portugal’s Joao Sousa and Heather Watson lost out alongside Henri Kontinen in the mixed doubles.
Evans, seeking to make it past the third round for the first time, battled with Sousa for almost four hours but went down 4-6 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-4 in the last match of the weekend.