His match alongside America’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands had been suspended the previous night as gloom descended on Court 18 and their opponents won the two games which killed any chance of a Murray vs Murray dream final.
“We could have started on Monday night 45 minutes before we did and we would have finished the match – it was very frustrating,” the Scot said. Murray often faces late starts because he’s a big draw in the mixed, having won the title twice at both Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, and this time he found himself in limbo as schedulers hoped for a slot on Centre Court.
“At first we were going to be playing on Court 12 and then we got told we were going on Centre after [Roger] Federer. Then it was 18. We went on at 7pm when it was already dark so it was a weird evening.”
He agreed he was a victim of his popularity in the mixed but added that the lateness and uncertainty over timing and venues were no help to his preparations. “That’s often why I’m put late in the schedule and then maybe I get moved.
“For me that means waiting around all day to play. They say ‘TBA’ [to be announced] or ‘Not before 5.30’ but that can be 7.30 or whatever. Personally I’d rather be the first, second or third match and know that I’m going to get on. It’s not ideal.”
Mattek-Sands added: “Wimbledon is the only place that does the TBA thing where nobody knows what’s going on. There was a lack of communication on Monday. 18 came out of nowhere. I was like: ‘This is Wimbledon? Why are we shuffling around at the last minute?’”
After fighting back in the final set, play resumed with Mattek-Sands on serve but she twice double-faulted. Mate Pavic of Croatia and Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 but Murray confirmed afterwards he’d be teaming up with Mattek-Sands in his bid to retain his US Open title.
“I have loads of fun with Bethanie. Not even whether she’s good, bad or whatever, it’s just great fun to play with her and that’s what mixed should be.”
So who did he want to win Wimbledon’s mixed now? “I’m supporting Andy for sure. I hope he and Serena have a great tournament. I hope they play til the end and are there to win.”