July 22, 2024

Andy Murray has been given a new invitation to compete at Wimbledon next year (Image: Getty)

EXCLUSIVE: A Wimbledon champion has explained why they rejected Andy Murray’s mixed doubles offer.
Andy Murray has been given another chance to compete in one of the doubles events at Wimbledon after being turned down by a former champion.

The Brit famously partnered with Serena Williams in the mixed doubles back in 2019. But the tennis icon was actually his third choice after he asked Ash Barty and Kristina Mladenovic.

Barty has now explained why she had to reject Murray as she sent him a new offer to pair up next year.
Murray hasn’t had the best luck with mixed doubles at SW19. Over the weekend, Emma Raducanu was forced to pull out injured ahead of their first-round tie on Saturday after she woke up with a stiff wrist and decided to take care ahead of her singles match.

And five years ago, he was forced to scramble when two top players turned him down, though it was the perfect outcome as he got to team up with 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Williams. One of the players who denied him was Barty, who had too much on her plate that year

But the retired Australian star has offered Murray a chance to return to Wimbledon next year after his farewell last week. “I would have loved to play mixed doubles with Andy, but singles were my focus and I had already entered ladies doubles as well,” the three-time Grand Slam champion told Express Sport. “I’m not sure my body would have coped with mixed doubles too.”

Andy Murray
Ash Barty rejected Andy Murray’s offer to play Wimbledon mixed doubles in 2019 (Image: Getty)

Barty is back at Wimbledon for the first time since she lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish in 2021, working as a BBC pundit and entering the invitational doubles with her old partner Casey Dellacqua. And she could be tempted to play the mixed version of the legends event with Murray after his official retirement.

She added: “Maybe Andy will play in the invitational with me here next year?!” It would be the perfect loophole for two-time Wimbledon champion Murray to play another match at the All England Club after he retires at the Olympics later this summer.

Murray has already enjoyed his Centre Court farewell as he was honoured with tributes after crashing out of the men’s doubles with his brother Jamie on Thursday. Novak Djokovic, Martina Navratilova and Cameron Norrie were among the champions and British stars past and present who came out to honour his Wimbledon career.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray enjoyed a fitting send-off on Centre Court on Thursday (Image: Getty)

And Barty paid a tribute of her own to the two-time Olympic champion. “Andy has had an incredible career, I have so much respect for him. He deserves all of the accolades he receives; he has done so much for our sport. Personally, Andy has always been very kind to me. I value our friendship and wish Andy and his family all the best for whatever comes next. He will be missed on the tour,” she said.

But the retired former No. 1 believes that British tennis is in good hands, especially with the return of Raducanu. Barty continued: “I think there is some really good depth on both the women’s and the men’s side. I have enjoyed watching some of the young players this week. I’ve watched Emma’s matches and I think everyone has loved seeing her back out on the court healthy and fighting to win matches.”

Barty has been getting up to some interesting activities in her retirement. Last week, the 28-year-old took to Wimbledon Piazza and King’s Cross to hand out Australian Tim Tam biscuits to the public ahead of their wider UK rollout. “Tim Tam is the best chocolate biscuit in the world I know we have a lot of great rivalries with the Brits, but the chocolate biscuit award goes to the Aussies,” she joked. “I’m a big fan of Tim Tam Original – you can’t go wrong with the classic.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com