“Murrus” could be in danger of being misspelled as mucus and “Vemur” sounds rather like femur, a bone the top players wouldn’t want to injure. While the debate continues, Murray and Williams are intent on having as much fun off the court as on it, just like their younger siblings did.
At their media conference after the first-round victory in the mixed doubles the pair were asked their intentions: in it to win it or content simply to go further than the third round achieved by Andy and Serena?
“What kind of question is that?” said Williams in mock outrage. “We’re in it for a stroll. Come on!”
Then Murray, winking at his partner, said: “We’re better than these other two, aren’t we? Yes, we want to win it.”
It was cheering to see Williams all smiles in this knockabout mode. She cut a sombre figure after early exits in the singles at the previous two Wimbledons. And she turned the questioner’s inquiry back on him: “Are you going to write a great article or just a halfway-decent one?” “I’m going to do what I usually do,” he replied.
Williams has won seven Slam singles titles and 16 at doubles, women’s and mixed, so you imagine that at 42 she’s not going to get back out of bed for just anyone - the prospect must be appealing.
Murray has seven titles, men’s and mixed, to his name and one more will take him clear of Virginia Wade as the most decorated Brit of the post-war era. He seemed surprised when The Scotsman informed him of this, saying: “Well, if we manage to win - amazing. For me now, playing Wimbledon, family and friends coming out to watch, home crowds, great partners - when I was growing up that’s what I wanted to do. But if I’m able - fortunate - enough to win another Slam, mixed or mains, yeah, amazing.”
The pair might have got together last year, Williams joking: “He plays hard to get.” Murray explained: “Venus' coach texted me asking if I wanted to play. She was keen to do it last year but I’d hurt my neck. Couldn’t say no twice!”
For Williams, the mixed at Wimbledon is one of the few titles anywhere in the world to have eluded her. “I’ve put a little more priority here,” she said, before thanking Murray for getting her through their first match, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 to overcome Michael Venus (New Zealand) and Alicja Rosolska (Poland).
Murray, ever the gentleman, said: “I think you did great. Venus hasn't played for a long time and the first match, big court, lot of people, isn’t easy. I think we did a really good job. It was fun. It was a great experience, playing with Venus Williams. When was I going to get the chance to do that?”
Next up for them are the British pairing of Alicia Barnett and Jonny O’Mara.