SER­ENA: I’LL MIX IT UP WITH ANDY

Seven-time cham­pion ad­mits she’d love to play dou­bles with Mur­ray... and he fan­cies it as well

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Tennis: Wimbledon - BY NEIL MCLEMAN @NeilMcLe­man

ANDY MUR­RAY and Ser­ena Wil­liams are up for form­ing a mixed dou­bles dream-team at Wimbledon.

“Ob­vi­ously she’s ar­guably the best player ever,” said Mur­ray. “She would be a pretty solid part­ner!”

Mur­ray is re­turn­ing to SW19 in the men’s dou­bles this year but has yet to find a fe­male part­ner.

And the Amer­i­can su­per­star (right), who won the mixed dou­bles ti­tle here in 1998, said she had re­cov­ered from her re­cent knee in­jury.

“I’m avail­able,” she said. “I’m feel­ing bet­ter now, so I’m def­i­nitely avail­able. We just have to wait and see.”

Wil­liams, who turns 38 in Septem­ber, needs one more Grand Slam sin­gles ti­tle to equal the record of 24 held by Mar­garet Court.

The work­load could also be an is­sue for Mur­ray who is play­ing only his third dou­bles event since re­turn­ing af­ter hip surgery in Jan­uary. He has yet to com­mit to play the mixed with the en­try list clos­ing on Wed­nes­day.

“I do want to play,” the Scot said. “I’ve spo­ken to a num­ber of play­ers about play­ing. The plan’s def­i­nitely to play.

“Ob­vi­ously with the play­ers that are in the sin­gles, that’s their pri­or­ity. I un­der­stand that. I ap­pre­ci­ate that.

“If I’m go­ing to play mixed, which is the plan, you ob­vi­ously want to be play­ing with some­one who’s go­ing to be there for the whole event, and they’re in it to try to win matches and win the event. I ap­pre­ci­ate with sin­gles play­ers that’s not al­ways go­ing to be the case.”

Mur­ray won the Fever-Tree Cham­pi­onships with Feli­ciano Lopez, lost in the first round at the Na­ture Val­ley In­ter­na­tional with Marcelo Melo and will now team up with Pierre-Hugues Her­bert. “Hope­fully we can have a good run to­gether,” Mur­ray said. “I would like to do well when I get on the court. I play to win.

“I’m re­ally com­pet­i­tive. I didn’t know four or five weeks ago if I’d even be play­ing on the grass. Shouldn’t be ex­pect­ing too much.

“But once I step on the court, I’ll be out there try­ing to win ev­ery match I play.” Mur­ray and Her­bert face Mar­ius Copil and Ugo Hum­bert in the open­ing round – with his brother Jamie and Neal Skup­ski their po­ten­tial third-round op­po­nents.

“Even if were sep­a­rated on op­po­site ends of the draw, peo­ple would be talk­ing about us play­ing in the fi­nal,” he joked.

“We have to win matches first.

“If we play each other, it would be dif­fi­cult in some re­spects. You’re com­pet­ing against your brother, big­gest ten­nis event in the world.

“At the same time I’d rather be on the same side of the net with him. But it’s cool if we did get the op­por­tu­nity that we’d be do­ing it on the big­gest stage in our sport.

“We’ll see if we get there.” Wil­liams has played her sis­ter Venus 30 times in sin­gles – in­clud­ing four fi­nals here – as well as win­ning six Wimbledon dou­bles ti­tles to­gether.

Asked for ad­vice on play­ing a sib­ling in a Grand Slam, Ser­ena said: “Don’t look at

’em. Lit­er­ally look at the ground, don’t look at them at all. Dis­con­nect. Dis­con­nect.”

She is ar­guably the best player ever... a pretty solid part­ner!

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