Andy Murray and Serena Williams’ Wimbledon match-up continued to impress after they eased into the third round of the mixed doubles.
‘Murena’ – the nickname chosen by Williams – dominated Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo to win 7-5 6-3 in front of a thrilled Centre Court crowd.
They have proved that their super coupling is much more than just a gimmick and are firm contenders for the title, even if they do play top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar in the next round.
Williams, fresh from her quarter-final win over Alison Riske in the singles, was the star of the show, peppering winners from all angles on the baseline.
Alongside Murray’s serving and cuteness at the net, it is a potent mix, and that is even before taking their competitive spirit into account.
That was evidenced in the opening game as Williams, back on court after just over two hours away, showed she was in the mood by swatting a volley straight at Martin, which wiped the Frenchman out on game point.
Unlike Nick Kyrgios last week when he did similar to Rafael Nadal, Williams was profuse in her apologies and everyone was left smiling.
The first seven games all comfortably went on serve, until two Murray winners off Atawo’s delivery forced break points, but the French-American pairing held off to level at 4-4.
More break points – and set points – went begging on Martin’s next service game, but ‘Murena’ eventually took their chance as Williams claimed the first set with a searing forehand winner.
Murray had to fend off some break points in the opening game of the second set before Williams began to take centre stage, defying physics with some of the angles of her winners.
That helped them take the serve of Martin, who had earlier fired a 133mph serve down, to surge into a 3-0 lead in the second set.
Williams continued to fire from the baseline, which allowed Murray to serve it out and he sealed victory with an ace.