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Williams and Andy win doubles title

International Sports

Andy Murray and Serena Williams BBCAndy Murray and Serena Williams BBCANDY Murray and Serena Williams began their blockbuster partnership with a confident win in the Wimbledon mixed doubles on a buzzing Centre Court.

Britain's Murray and American Williams eased to a 6-4 6-1 win over unseeded Andreas Mies and Alexa Guarachi.

The high-profile pair had too much quality for their battling opponents and will meet 14th seeds Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo in the second round.

Earlier, Murray lost alongside Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men's doubles.

But several hours later, there were contrasting emotions for the Scot - a the three-time Grand Slam singles champion - as he and 23-time major winner Williams breezed past their German-Chilean opponents in one hour and 16 minutes.

"After losing earlier in the men's doubles, all the energy is the focused now on the mix," Murray, 32, said. "We played well, returned well and served well - it is a great start."

Williams, 37, added: "I think it worked out well, We had never played together, so it is always a learning curve. We wanted to start fast and we take it very seriously."

The tantalising partnership between two of the sport's most recognisable stars has been one of the main talking points at Wimbledon since it was first mooted last week and then finally confirmed on Tuesday.

Anticipation was bubbling around the grounds all day - particularly on Centre Court, where many ticket holders felt confident they were going to see Murray and Williams in tandem.

That was despite the match not being assigned to a court, and not to be played before 17:30 BST, as Wimbledon organisers waited until the picture became clearer on the main show courts before deciding where to put one of the most anticipated mixed doubles matches in years.

Quick victories for Ashleigh Barty, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on Centre left the path clear and when their impending arrival was announced, shortly after the Swiss beat France's Lucas Pouille in straight sets, the 15,000-seater arena broke out into manic cheers.

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