Andy Murray took time out to hail Serena Williams for her “incredible achievements” and R-rated jokes during their time as mixed doubles partners.
Murray defeated 24th seeded Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, to mark the 10th Anniversary of his US Open triumph in style.
The victory over the top-30 ranked Cerundolo was Murray’s first straight sets win at a Grand Slam since the 2017 edition of Wimbledon.
Murray made his Grand Slam breakthrough at the US Open in 2012, ending Britain’s 76-year wait for a men’s champion at the majors before going on to win Wimbledon twice.
Murray’s former mixed doubles partner Serena Williams was also celebrating a 10 years anniversary of a milestone win with her fourth title in New York coming in 2012.
Williams got her so-called ‘farewell run’ underway with a victory on Monday evening but hinted that this might not be the end of her tennis career.
Murray and the women’s tennis icon teamed up in mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 2019 when the British star saw a surprising new side to his teammate as he revealed after his match on Monday.
“I didn’t really know her that well but I felt like she had a good sense of humor and cracked a few jokes, certainly early in the partnership and helped me quite a lot,” said Murray.
“But I can’t share them in here, because they were of that nature! I thought that was cool.”
Murray lauded Williams as “one of the best tennis players to have ever played, if not the best on the women’s side”.
The Scot added that the contribution of older sister Venus should not be overlooked.
Venus, now 42 years old, has seven Grand Slam singles titles to Serena’s 23 to go along with the 14 doubles crowns they have won playing together at the majors.
That number could become 15 if the sisters manage another triumph in New York over the next fortnight.
Despite being in their 40s Murray feels they can still mount a challenge in New York.
“When you combine the two, it is even more remarkable, really, and probably unlikely we will see something like that again from two sisters,” added Murray.
“I think it’s really cool that they are playing doubles together. I think that will be really nice.”
Murray was grateful to show no signs of the recent cramping problems which have plagued his hardcourt summer.
However, Murray still felt the effects of a gruelling encounter with Cerundolo, played out on the Louis Armstrong Stadium Court.
“It felt like five sets. They were very tricky conditions, very hot and humid. Just really happy to get through that one.”
Murray will always fondly remember his 2012 win in New York when he secured the final victory over old rival Novak Djokovic.
“It seems like a long time ago when I won here. A lot has happened in my career since then but it was huge moment for me.”
Murray will face American wildcard Emilio Nava for a place in the last 32.
Nava made his Grand Slam debut in a five-set win over Aussie John Millman.
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