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'Murrena' no more: Top seeds end Andy Murray and Serena Williams's Wimbledon partnership in third round

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 10 Jul 2019
  • Andy Murray and Serena Williams lost in the third round of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon
  • Top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar beat 'Murrena' 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Serena Williams and Andy Murray (PA Sports)

'Murrena' no more: Andy Murray and Serena Williams's Wimbledon mixed doubles partnership ends in the third round.

It was fun while it lasted, but for Andy Murray and Serena Williams, it's back to what they do best: Singles.

The mixed doubles partnership between the two Grand Slam champions, dubbed 'Murrena' by the fans and media, came to an end in the third round of Wimbledon at the hands of top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar.

Murray and Williams during their match against Soares and Melichar (PA Sports)
The calibre of Murray and particularly Williams as singles players had shone through in the first two rounds as they scored victories over Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi, and then sixth seeds Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo.

But up against a top-flight doubles pairing like Soares and Melichar, they were outclassed. A poor service game from Soares saw them break to level up the match and give brief hope to their fans, but they were dominated in the third set as the Brazilian-American pairing won 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

'They played well. I think they played quite a bit together. And, yeah, they were solid. I think we were probably a little bit more up and down than them throughout. They were more consistent,' Murray said afterwards.

'Bruno played a bad game on his serve at 5-4 in the second set. Apart from that, we weren't getting lots of free points. We were having to work for every game. Yeah, they deserved to win.'

Murray and Williams have proved an extremely popular pairing at the tournament they have won a combined nine times in singles. In the second round against Martin and Atawo, in particular, Williams put on a returning clinic as she absolutely shredded the 6'7" Martin's serve.

'We had so much fun. We aren't ready for it to be over,' Williams said. 'We did have a good tournament. I think overall, we played really well for our first time to play together.'

Both players have much more to focus on in the coming days, weeks and months than any passing sense of regret, however. 

Williams plays Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday in the semifinals of the ladies' singles as she bids to reach the Wimbledon final for the eleventh time. If she does, the only thing standing between her and a twenty-fourth major title will be either Simona Halep or Elina Svitolina.

Murray and Williams talk to the press (PA Sports)
The American said she has enjoyed the whole-hearted support of the crowd while playing alongside Murray.

'Hopefully I can still have it,' she said.

'I think to play on this stage with Andy, who has done so well here for so many years, is literally just a lifetime experience. I'm so happy that I got to experience it.'

For Murray, the future is a little less clear. The former world no. 1 has steadfastly refused to set a deadline for his singles return despite the repeated pleadings of the media to know whether or not he is aiming to return for the US Open - something Murray has said is 'unlikely'.

After a positive return in doubles over the past month in the wake of hip resurfacing surgery in January, Murray certainly aims at a singles return, but he is still feeling his way through a journey that no one has yet made successfully.

'I think I achieved a lot,' Murray said of the past few weeks. 'I think, considering the lack of matches, I did OK. The most positive thing is that my body felt good. My hip anyway was feeling good, so that was positive. It’s a lot of physical work now trying to get stronger really, get a good balance with all of the kind of muscles around my hip. I think I’m doing some physical testing next week. I did some pre-Queen’s.

'It will be interesting to see what’s happened these last four weeks where I’ve been obviously playing tennis but doing not much training, to see how things have progressed or not. Then I’ll kind of do … four to six weeks of training. Then I’ll have some testing done after that again. Hopefully I will have progressed again. But I’ve still got, like I said, quite a long way to go.'

One thing at least is for certain: Team Murrena won't be forgotten any time soon.

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'Murrena' no more: Top seeds end Andy Murray and Serena Williams's Wimbledon partnership in third round

Andy Murray and Serena Williams's mixed doubles partnership is at an end after the pair, dubbed 'Murrena', lost 3-6, 6-4, 2-6 to top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar in the third round of Wimbledon

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