Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu to play Wimbledon mixed doubles as part of emotional farewell

Andy Murray has added to the mixed doubles to his Wimbledon farewell   (Getty Images)
Andy Murray has added to the mixed doubles to his Wimbledon farewell (Getty Images)

Andy Murray’s Wimbledon farewell will include an appearance in the mixed doubles alongside Emma Raducanu, with Britain’s two grand slam champions entering the draw as wildcards.

Murray was forced to pull out of his final singles match at the Championships after ruling that he had not recovered from a back operation in time, but the 37-year-old wants to maximise his opportunities at his final Wimbledon before he retires.

The two-time champion will play in the men’s doubles alongside brother Jamie on Thursday but his on-court swansong will continue in the mixed doubles alongside Raducanu, the former US Open champion.

Murray memorably played mixed doubles with Serena Williams in 2019 following his return to the sport from career-saving hip surgery, and his double-act with Raducanu is set to be another blockbuster pair.

“We’d spoken about it a few years ago during the Covid year, but obviously both of us ended up doing quite well in singles so it didn’t happen,” Murray revealed.

“And then yesterday I was chatting to my team, they were discussing mixed and then last night I messaged her coach and just said, ‘Look, do you think this is something that maybe she’d be up for doing?’ He said it was worth asking. I asked her and she said yeah she’d be up for it.

“It should be fun. I have played mixed doubles a few times when I was young and then the last time was with Serena. I really enjoyed it, it’s something we rarely get to do.

“And to get a chance to do it with Emma, well it’s my last chance to do it, so it should be good.”

The first round of the mixed doubles begins on Friday but Murray and Raducanu could also play on Saturday, depending on the draw. Murray and Raducanu will play Shuai Zhang of China and El Salvador’s Marcelo Arevalo, a doubles specialist.

Raducanu faces Elise Mertens in her second-round match in the women’s singles this afternoon, with the 21-year-old praising Murray as an example following her opening win at the tournament.

Murray and Raducanu are the only British players to win grand slam titles in the last 40 years, with the Scot ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men’s champion in 2013 and Raducanu winning the US Open as a wildcard in 2021.

“I think the biggest advice is just how he’s always taken care of his operations, how he manages his people,” Raducanu said on Monday. “I haven’t really spoken to him so much. I think for me it’s just like watching him operate day to day, watching him be absolutely on it with everything. Even in practice now, he’s so on it to the minute.

Emma Raducanu won her opening match of her Wimbledon return on Monday (Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu won her opening match of her Wimbledon return on Monday (Getty Images)

“I think me, when I was a bit younger maybe, showing up 15 minutes before practice to do a few arm curls, swing my hand around and warm up, he’s there for an hour and a half doing treatment. He just sets really good examples.”

Murray said he was extremely disappointed to pull out of the singles on Tuesday but is set to have two opportunities to play in front of the Wimbledon crowd for a final time. The doubles format is less demanding physically and only plays best-of-three sets.

Raducanu was top of Murray’s wish list once he decided to add mixed to men’s doubles, where is playing with his brother Jamie.

The 37-year-old, who decided against singles following back surgery last weekend, said: “I chatted a bit with my team about it and they said, ‘What exactly are you trying to get out of it?’

“Firstly we want to be competitive in the matches, and then playing with another Brit was going to be something that would be nice, and she’s obviously one of the top British players and she would have been top of the list.”

Raducanu was quick to accept the proposition.

“Thankfully I got quite a quick reply,” said Murray with a smile. “It was quite late yesterday evening when I sent the message, it would have been after nine, so I was a bit worried she might be in bed, but I got a quick reply. She said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it’.”

Raducanu has only played one tour-level doubles match in her career and this will be her grand slam debut but Murray believes she is well suited to the format.

“She’s obviously unbelievably competitive and likes playing in the big stadiums and stuff with crowds so I expect she’ll deal with that really well,” he said.

“A lot of the skills from singles translate well to doubles. There’s a few things that are obviously a little bit different, particularly when you play against doubles players who are doing a lot of crossing, a lot of movement at the net, that’s something that takes a little time to get used to.

“But she’s a brilliant returner and great ball striker so I’d imagine she’ll deal with returning guys’ serves well. And, when she’s getting into exchanges at the back of the court, she’ll be really good.”

Includes reporting from PA