“We both played well and if she keeps returning like that we’ll have a good chance.
“All matches are great for me, doubles especially, for the reactions and reflexes which has helped me and once I’ve finished here, hopefully on Sunday, I will get back and start practising some more singles.”
‘Mur-rena’ make their intentions clear
The stellar pairing between Britain’s three-time Grand Slam singles champion, and a 23-time major winner widely regarded as the sport’s greatest female player, has breathed new life into the mixed doubles at the All England Club.
Their match, again scheduled on Centre Court, was watched by a near-capacity 15,000 crowd who were given plenty of entertainment and responded by providing a crackling atmosphere.
Murray opened the match to excited cheers from the home fans, many who probably thought they would never see him again on the court where he has won two singles titles.
The Scot, who had serious hip surgery in January, started with a solid service game which was finished by Williams hammering a stinging volley straight at Martin’s calf – she quickly held both hands up in apology.
But it was a sign that the partnership – which Williams said has been christened ‘Mur-rena’ – meant business in this fun format.
Williams was back on Centre little over two hours after she beat Alison Riske to reach the semi-finals of the women’s singles, yet looked far from fatigued as she turned the match in her team’s favour.
Williams’ backhand winner off a 138mph serve set up a fourth break point – this time on Martin’s serve and for the set – only for Murray to dump a forehand into the net and the chance to disappear.
Murray’s returning game – usually his hallmark – was not quite on the same level as he sent another set point into the net at 6-5.
But it did not matter as the quality of his partner shone through moments later.
Williams hit a dipping cross-court winner to set up another chance and then hit almost the same shot to seal the opening set – greeting it with another loud roar and a twirl on the spot.
Williams continued to dismantle the big-serving Martin at the start of the second set, earning another break point when she reached to successfully convert a forehand winner which left even her pulling a face of shock.
That proved enough to take the set – and the match – when Murray delivered a clean ace out wide to win the match in one hour and 37 minutes.