Excitement at Wimbledon builds ahead of Murray/Williams partnership

Angelique Kerber

Andy Murray and Serena Williams must overcome a recent grand slam doubles victor in their first match together at Wimbledon.

Two-time men's singles champion Murray and Williams, a 14-time victor in singles and doubles, face Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi in the first round. I need to respect that and do everything right: "eating, recovering stretching, doing all my normal warm ups and preparations and not just think "oh it's doubles I'll be fine I can get away with not doing all that stuff". "If you guys really want [the mixed doubles pairing] then maybe I'll do it".

This once-in-a-lifetime show will, the All England Club hope, run for longer than their first-round match against Germany's Andreas Mies and American-born Chilean Alexa Guarachi.

Williams feels she has plenty in common with Murray.

'It is a great advert for doubles that two of the best players in the sport are combining'.

"He really stands out, he really speaks up about women's issues no matter what", said Williams.

She has been battling a knee injury for months, so to have her off to a strong start was both a personal and professional win.

Murray also made a serious point about how the grand slam tournaments could boost doubles by cutting matches to three sets and give it the profile it had in the days when John McEnroe was a regular with Peter Fleming, and sometimes his brother, and when the singles stars regularly tried their hand at a two-hander. "It's tremendous", she told the Wimbledon Channel radio on Wednesday.

To the handshake after the highlight-worthy 12-stroke exchange that capped the result, including a trade of volleys with both women at the net: "She told me I'm an incredible player". "I would never have imagined that would ever happen here".

"I'm sure any of their opponents will be scared to face them".

Oh, and Williams has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with massive sister Venus.

The last time she played mixed at a Grand Slam event, though, was in 2012 at the French Open when she and fellow American Bob Bryan lost in the first round.

The former world No. 1 underwent surgery in January to correct an ongoing hip problems, with his rehabilitation giving him time to try new things.

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