What a team: Serena Williams, Andy Murray to play Wimbledon mixed doubles

WIMBLEDON, England — This is quite a pair: Serena Williams is teaming with Andy Murray for mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

Murray’s agent, Matt Gentry, said Tuesday night that the two Grand Slam champions and former top-ranked players will be partners at the All England Club.

“His work ethic is just honestly off the charts,” Williams said of Murray. “That’s something I’ve always respected about him. His fitness, everything. To do what he’s done in an era where there are so many other great male tennis players, so much competition, to rise above it, not many people have done it. He’s actually one of the few.

“There are so many things to be admired. Above all, he really stands out, he really speaks up about women’s issues, no matter what. You can tell he has a really strong woman in his life. I think, above all, that is just fantastic.”

They are sure to draw plenty of attention, much more than mixed doubles normally attracts, and fill the stands — whenever and wherever their first-round match is played.

Williams, of course, is one of the most successful and famous athletes in history, someone who has transcended her sport while winning 23 major singles championships, along with another 14 in women’s doubles with her older sister, Venus, and a couple of mixed doubles titles (with Max Mirnyi at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, both in 1998).

Murray is one of Britain’s biggest sports stars, forever known as the person who ended the locals’ 77-year wait for a homegrown men’s singles champion at the All England Club, in 2013. He won again in 2016, plus he won the U.S. Open in 2012, along with being the only tennis player to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in singles.

He is limited to playing doubles as he returns from an operation for a hip replacement.

Murray is entered in men’s doubles at Wimbledon with Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Kyrgios up to usual antics: Nick Kyrgios delivered an underhand serve on set point. He hit a tweener lob. He dived for a volley unnecessarily. He complained about someone’s camera he found too big … and someone’s talking he found too loud … and reporters’ questions he found too silly.

In other words: It was just an average day for Kyrgios, one of the most talented, mercurial and entertaining-slash-confounding players there is. After his 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (10), 0-6, 6-1 victory over Jordan Thompson in an all-Australian matchup, Kyrgios will take on Rafael Nadal in the second round Thursday.

They have a history. Kyrgios, then just 19 years old, burst onto the scene at the All England Club in 2014 by beating Nadal to become the youngest man to eliminate the No. 1 player at a major tournament since 2005. Add to that a public spat involving Nadal, his uncle and Kyrgios in recent months, and get the popcorn ready.

“Not sure that me and Rafa could go down to the Dog & Fox and have a beer together,” Kyrgios said, referring to a nearby pub. “I don’t know him at all.”

Nadal’s response?

“I’m too old for all this stuff,” he said after his 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win over qualifier Yuichi Sugita.

Howard Fendrich is an Associated Press writer.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/What-a-team-Serena-Williams-Andy-Murray-to-play-14068050.php.

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