When the news was announced that Jamie Murray and Venus Williams would be pairing up for the Mixed Doubles, fans were overjoyed.
Yeah, it was cool. I really, really enjoyed it. Amazing to be on court with such a champion. (I) look forward to next match Jamie Murray
Here was Britain’s former world No.1 at doubles, joining forces with another great champion and both with previous successes at grand slam level.
It would seem that Venus Williams made the initial approach which Jamie Murray felt it would be bad manners to decline having originally announced he would only be concentrating with his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares, on their men’s doubles campaign this year.
Their first public outing was on Court No.1 last Friday to the welcome surprise of spectators who had hung back after the scheduled three singles matches were completed.
They played the American and New Zealand combination of Michael Venus and Alicia Rosolska and delighted home fans by delivering a 6-3 6-7(3) 6-3 victory over two-hours and 18-minutes of great entertainment, especially from the two high profile players who were living up to expectations.
And those expectations weighed more heavily on Williams’ shoulders rather than Murray’s for she hadn’t played in any tournament since last August so for a while this was evident.
But it didn’t take her long to throw off the dust covers and get into her stride to contribute to the partnership with her armoury of shots and experience to match those of her partner.
In fact, a Williams forehand secured the first break for the wild card pairing to go 3-1 up in the first after Rosolska failed to hold hers in the first round of serving. That proved enough for the favourites to claim the first set after 39-minutes with Murray acing on set point.
The second set was a bit tighter with both women dropping their serves while their male partners held firm taking it to a tie-break where the America-Kiwi partnership prevailed to level the match.
With failing light, it proved necessary to close the roof and on their return,it wasn’t long before Murray and Williams were showing the crowd that their partnership was gelling as they took a 3-1 lead and then extended it to 5-2 with Williams fittingly perhaps, claiming the match point with a forehand.
Commenting after the match, Venus Williams pointed out that there wasn’t a single Mixed Doubles trophy in her cabinet of silverware. She did have a finalist’s plate which she earned with Bob Bryan back in 2009.
“It’s one of the only ones I haven’t won so I usually put a little more priority here,” she said.
And as far as Murray is concerned, it was an enjoyable evening out.
“It was a lot of fun tonight,” he said.
“We had a good time. So nice to play on Court 1. A load of people come out to watch, or stay out to watch.
“Yeah, it was cool. I really, really enjoyed it. Amazing to be on court with such a champion. (I) look forward to next match.”
And that is today, Sunday, against the British pairing of Jonny O’Mara and Alicia Barnett currently scheduled as third match on No.2 Court.