Serena Williams and Andy Murray delighted fans when they teamed up to play mixed doubles this month at Wimbledon. Mixed doubles is typically not a very popular event at the All England Club, their first two matches drew capacity crowds at Centre Court. Devotees affectionately called the duo “Murena” or “SerAndy.”
But the pair’s run ended Wednesday in the third round after they fell in three sets to the tournament’s top seeds, Bruno Soares (Brazil) and Nicole Melichar (United States), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Soares and Melichar broke serve twice in the final set, and took a 4-0 lead. Murray and Williams won two games, but couldn’t fight all the way back.
Afterward, Williams reveled in Murray drawing most of the attention. He told reporters this week he hadn’t felt the men’s singles game had “moved on” without him while he took time off to recover from hip issues. After contemplating retirement at January’s Australian Open, he said he could return to a singles career thanks to a successful hip surgery.
He also heaped praise on Williams. The two had never played together before.
“I guess it was more a confirmation of something that you would have expected from someone that’s won as much as she’s done,” he said (via ESPN). “It was just the fact that she was so into it, so competitive, which is cool. I like that. Some people might just see it as being maybe mixed doubles. We’re playing it to have fun and get matches.
“But a genuine kind of desire and will to win, which I would have expected that to have been the case, but I didn’t know that about her. Never spent any time on the court with her. That was the thing that was nice whilst we were on the court. She was really into wanting to win and pumped. I like that.”
Williams said she was impressed with their performance given it was their first time teaming up.
“We had so much fun,” she said. “We aren’t ready for it to be over. But we both are obviously focused on our health, both of us actually, taking it literally one day at a time, seeing what happens from there.”
Williams and Murray were the last “celebrity” pair left in the mixed doubles draw. Venus Williams played with Frances Tiafoe. Jamie Murray, Andy’s brother, played with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Both pairs lost in the second round.
The loss ends Andy Murray’s Wimbledon return after he sat out the tournament in 2018. He did not play singles and lost his men’s doubles match with Pierre-Hugues Herbert (France) on Saturday.
Serena Williams will play Barbora Strýcová (Czech Republic) on Friday in the semifinals.