Emma Raducanu wasted little time accepting Andy Murray’s mixed doubles offer

Emma Raducanu had no hesitation in accepting Andy Murray’s mixed doubles proposal and will fulfil a childhood dream by playing with him at Wimbledon.

The high-profile pair were given a wild card on Wednesday morning, with Murray keen to wring every last drop out of his final appearance at the All England Club.

He revealed Raducanu was at the top of his list when he decided to enter the event on Tuesday evening, and he did not have to wait long for the reply.

“Literally like 10 seconds,” said Raducanu. “For me, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think some things are bigger than just tennis.

“I think some things are a once-in-a-lifetime memory that you’re going to have for the rest of your life. To play at Wimbledon with Andy Murray, those things don’t come by.

“At the end of my life, at the end of my career when I’m like 70 years old, I know I’m going to have that memory of playing Wimbledon with Andy Murray in a home slam. For me, it was an honour to be asked.”

A standout memory for Raducanu is watching Murray win a silver medal in mixed doubles with Laura Robson at the London Olympics in 2012.

“It’s always been something that I’ve wanted to do,” said the 21-year-old. “Then seeing him win silver here with Laura, I was so far away from it at that time, it was like a faraway dream.

“I think the decision was, for sure, made as well for that kid who was dreaming of this moment. I think it’s important to not lose sight of that, not let go of those feelings as a kid, why you started playing sport, why you want to play on these big courts. I’m just really excited.”

Murray famously partnered Serena Williams in 2019, with the duo making it to the third round, and there will be just as much anticipation around this pairing.

The Scot revealed it had been several years in the making after they played against each other in a Battle of the Brits event in 2020.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Andy Murray, right, and Serena Williams high five
Andy Murray, right, and Serena Williams played mixed doubles together in 2019 (Victoria Jones/PA)

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.”

Murray and Raducanu will play El Salvador’s Marcelo Arevalo and Zhang Shuai of China in the first round on Friday or Saturday, with his first-round men’s doubles clash alongside brother Jamie scheduled on Centre Court on Thursday.

Raducanu’s main focus is, of course, singles, where she will play Maria Sakkari in the third round, but she said: “I really don’t want to let him down. Of course, that’s the one thing I don’t want to do.

“I’m going to be on my best form, trying hard. Probably be more nervous for that than the singles. I just wish him the best. I think Wimbledon is Andy Murray and Andy Murray is Wimbledon. I just want to see him do well.”