The relationship grows stronger as Murray and Williams power on
09 July 2019 / 20:06
First the whispers queried whether Andy Murray and Serena Williams would ever happen, now, those questions consider just how far they can go.
On the evidence of their second-round victory on Centre Court the answer looks increasingly to be positive.
The dream team of Murray and Williams, six Olympic golds and nine Wimbledon singles titles between them, looked unflustered as they powered past Raquel Atawo and Fabrice Martin 7-5 6-3.
This their second straight-sets win and coming once again after superstar Williams had played a match earlier in the day.
Worryingly for future opponents, Murray, returning from hip surgery, feels he’s getting stronger with every game.
“I think playing matches is always good,” said the 32-year-old Scot. “One of the things that probably showed a bit in the first two matches is, on break-points, maybe I haven't played them as well as I would have liked so far.
“That's something you get better with playing more matches, playing more of those points - I'll continue to improve on that.
“Once you start playing matches again things tend to hurt a little bit at the beginning. You build up that robustness by competing, playing matches week after week, day after day.”
At times, the Centre Court battle against the 14th seeds was an all-out assault from the all-star team.
Not only did Atawo and Martin have two greats staring, sometimes grinning, back at them from across court but also 15,000 supporters roaring on the dream team.
They held back the tide well, Frenchman Martin like a wall at the net for the duration, but Atawo’s serve wobbled in game eight and broke in game 12.
In the second set the British-American partnership soared, increasingly in sync as Williams fizzed back several huge returns of Martin’s serve.
Williams commented: “I mean, do not expect that to ever happen again. I'm convinced that was once in a lifetime. I just never hit returns like that in my life!”
Murray also spoke of the increasing cohesiveness: “Serena was the one making me laugh out there. I think it felt a bit more relaxed than the first match because we don't know each other extremely well – I think we chatted a bit more.”
Tougher tests will come, quite promptly with top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar in the next round, while Williams continues on in the singles draw.
With the action on court looking good, the inevitable questions came about Murray’s potential return to singles.
“I don't know,” he added. “I want to prepare to try and get ready for singles. If I'm able to train the way that I need to off the court and still maintain my performance in doubles, I would consider that.
“But I don't know if I want to go over to the States to play doubles for four or five weeks, I'm not sure yet.
“But having felt how I felt these last few weeks I'm positive about the future, so therefore I'm going to train properly to try and give singles a go - but that will take time.”