Andy Murray explains why he won’t play in mixed doubles with Serena Williams at Wimbledon
The dream team is no more. As Andy Murray prepares to launch his first singles campaign at Wimbledon in four years, he has decided against joining forces with Serena Williams in the mixed doubles.
They played together two years ago when Murray was making his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery and the pair – who hold 26 grand slam singles titles between them and have reached a further 18 grand slam finals – reached the third round. But they will not be trying it again.
“No, I hadn’t planned on it this time,” Murray said. “Singles is enough for me. Getting through singles matches has proved tough enough the last year or so. So I’ll stick to singles this year.”
With four children under the age of six at home, he probably will not be allowed to make quite that much noise tonight when he watches the Croatia game on the TV, but he may still not be able to speak at all this time tomorrow.
The rest of him, though, is in pretty good shape. Waiting for the rain to stop long enough for him to get a couple of practice sets in with Marin Cilic yesterday, Murray is carefully plotting his path to Wimbledon and the start of The Championships on Monday.
“In the build-up to Queen’s [last week], I was doing one hard day, one light day,” he croaked. “That is what the plan is to do this week as well. Practise with Cilic today hopefully at Queen’s; try and play like a couple of sets. Then Tuesday, do less moving and do more specific work. And then Wednesday again play sets.
“Probably, I’ll take one day off between now and the start of the tournament but that’s the plan this week: one hard day, one easy day and try and play as many sets as I can in the build-up.”
Thanks to the Covid restrictions, Wimbledon will not be the same this year but at least some fans will be allowed to watch. The capacity for the main show courts is capped at 50 per cent but that will increase to 100 per cent for the finals.
The players will remain in a strict bubble throughout and Muray will have to stay in one of the official hotels in London rather than at his home in Surrey, 20 minutes away from the All England Club. He is not even sure if his family can come and watch him play.
“I am not sure if it is appropriate for kids and there is not anywhere for them to hang out,” he said. “Usually when the player lounge is open, they have a crèche and things for the kids.
“I’m not sure if that’s the case this year or not. I’m not sure if they are coming to watch. Maybe my parents will come along. But Kim and the kids, I’m not sure.”
That is where Williams might come in handy. No matter how tight the restrictions, she is never seen without her husband, coach, agent and various other friends and associates.
Murray might want to have a quiet word with her about how it is done.