Serena Williams did not rule out the possibility of teaming up with Andy Murray again in the future after saying she was not ready for their dream doubles pairing to be over.

The superstar tandem – dubbed "MurRena" by Williams – were knocked out of the Wimbledon mixed doubles 6-3 4-6 6-2 by Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar on Wednesday.

Murray and Williams coasted through the opening two rounds, but the top seeds were too strong on this occasion.

Asked if the two may link up again in the future, Williams said: "We had so much fun. We aren't ready for it to be over.

"I just love Andy's spirit. It's so fun to play with him. He's so calm and chilled. And I loved having the support. It was amazing. Hopefully I can still have it.

"To play on this stage with Andy, who has done so well here for so many years, is literally just a lifetime experience. I'm so happy that I got to experience it."

Murray has now played in 10 doubles matches since returning to court after hip resurfacing surgery, which he feared might bring an end to his career.

The three-time grand slam winner will continue to build his fitness to work towards a singles return, and Murray says he feels in good shape.

"I think I achieved a lot. I got on the court and I think, considering the lack of matches, I did OK," he said.

"The most positive thing is that my body felt good. My hip anyway was feeling good, so that was positive.

"It's a lot of physical work now trying to get stronger, really, get a good balance with all the muscles around my hip. I'm doing some physical testing next week.

"I did some pre-Queen's. It will be interesting to see what's happened these last four weeks where I've been obviously playing tennis but doing not much training, to see how things have progressed or not.

"Then I'll do four to six weeks of training, then I'll have some testing done after that again. Hopefully I will have progressed again. But I've still got quite a long way to go."

It was fun while it lasted, but the dream mixed doubles pairing of Serena Williams and Andy Murray saw their Wimbledon run come to an end on Wednesday.

The duo suffered a third-round exit at the hands of top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar, going down 6-3 4-6 6-2.

For Murray, a two-time singles champion at the All England Club, it is the end of his tournament on all fronts, having already lost in the men's doubles alongside Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

But Williams has her eye on the ultimate prize of victory in the women's singles, with a semi-final match against Barbora Strycova to come on Thursday.

The American is seeking a record-equalling 24th grand slam title and an eighth at the grass-court event.

Murray, who like his partner is a former world number one, is yet to confirm when and where he will make his return to singles action following hip surgery.

Andy Murray declared Serena Williams to be "the boss" after Alison Riske discovered the legendary American can still call the shots at Wimbledon.

Williams beat Riske 6-4 4-6 6-3 to reach the singles semi-finals on Tuesday, then returned to Centre Court to team up with Murray for a mixed doubles win over Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo.

The legendary Williams has christened their dream team 'Murena' and Murray is in no mood to argue with her despite being at his home grand slam.

Riske was not giving any secrets away over her father's career after her exit, while Henri Leconte put on a show on the outside courts.

Catch up on the action with the daily diary from the All England Club.

 

MURENA IT IS - SERENA IN CHARGE

Williams and Murray had an expectant crowd on the edge of their seats as they teamed up for a 7-5 6-3 win in the second round.

There has been plenty of talk over what the star duo should be called, but Murray says his playing partner has the final say.

"I think Serena is the boss so whatever she says goes!" Murray said.

Williams added: "I am having a blast. Obviously it has been great atmosphere playing out there with Andy, so it is great."

 

MUM'S THE WORD OVER DAD'S RISKE BUSINESS

Riske has expressed herself brilliantly on and off court in her best run at a major.

It was very much a case of mum's the word when asked about her father's role as a former secret service agent and FBI investigator following her battle with Williams.

"My dad was on president detail with [Bill] Clinton, he was with [George] Bush Sr. He did that for quite a while. He was also with actually [Ronald] Reagan for a very short period of time," said the American.

"Honestly, my dad didn't share too many stories - he wasn't allowed to. I don't think I would share them now either, to be honest. His humour is a little off colour. I would probably feel better keeping them to myself."

 

LECONTE HOLDS FORTE IN ROLE REVERSAL

Charismatic Frenchman Leconte took centre stage on the outside courts before the serious action got under way.

The 56-year-old handed the chair umpire his racket to partner Patrick McEnroe and climbed up to officiate rather than do battle with Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis.

Leconte commentated on the encounter behind the microphone for richly entertained spectators on No.3 Court, offering words of advice for the umpire and also dishing out a warning.

The official took a tumble stretching for a winner, earning praise from Leconte as both starred in their alternative roles.

 

LUCKY 13: HISTORY MADE IN DOUBLES MARATHON

History was made at SW19 when Henri Kontinen and John Peers went down as the first winners of a final-set tie-break.

There was nothing to choose in a men's doubles clash between the eighth seeds and Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury that went the distance.

It was Kontinen and Peers who eventually prevailed, sealing a historic 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 3-6 4-6 13-12 (7-2) success in a contest which lasted four hours and 29 minutes on Court 12.

Johanna Konta was angered by a reporter's "patronising" question following her Wimbledon quarter-final defeat to Barbora Strycova.

World number 18 Konta slipped out in the last eight on Tuesday, going down 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 on Centre Court despite taking a 4-1 lead in the first set.

Strycova will now meet seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the semi-finals, with the 11th seed having overcome Alison Riske.

Konta was the clear favourite against Strycova but appeared to lose her composure in the second set as the world number 54 cruised to a convincing victory and a first singles appearance in the last four of a major.

When a reporter suggested she could have performed better on key points, Konta replied: "Is that in your professional tennis opinion?

"I don't think you need to pick on me, in a harsh way. I'm very open with [the media] and I say how I feel out there.

"If you don't want to accept that answer or you don't agree with it that's fine, but I still believe in the tennis I play and still believe in the way I competed."

Asked if she wanted to win a grand slam in the future, Konta said: "Please don't patronise me.

"In the way you're asking your question, you are being quite disrespectful and you are patronising me.

"I'm a professional competitor who did her best today, and that's all there is to that."

However, Konta felt her performance in her French Open semi-final defeat to Marketa Vondrousova in June was of a higher quality.

"I thought I played better in my French semi-final," she said.

"I thought the conditions were a lot trickier in terms of the conditions we played in. There was a lot more wind and things like that. I think that played a factor.

"Player-wise, they're probably a little similar. I mean, slightly different court, as well, different surface. But no, actually I thought I played better there than in this match."

Elina Svitolina refused to get too carried away by the thought of playing in a first grand slam semi-final after overcoming Karolina Muchova at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Svitolina became the first Ukrainian woman to reach the last four of a slam after recording a 7-5 6-4 win over Muchova on No.1 Court.

Former world number one Simona Halep is next up for the eighth seed in a repeat of the 2017 French Open quarter-final which the Romanian won 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-0.

But Svitolina brushed off questions about the upcoming tie in her post-match news conference, insisting she was not ready to focus on such a monumental moment in her career just yet.

"It feels amazing. But I try to not think so much about it," the 24-year-old told the media.

"Yes, I try to not think so much about stuff like that. You just try to think about different things.

 

Svitolina conceded, however, that overcoming the hurdle could help her play with more freedom in future grand slams. 

"It gives you extra motivation, extra confidence for the future I would think," she added. 

"This extra push for the end of the season. In general, just happy that I'm playing free, I'm playing decent tennis, I would say. I am happy that I have opportunity to play in a semi-final of Wimbledon. It's something special."

Svitolina has been knocked out in the quarter-final stage of majors on four previous occasions, including at this year's Australian Open.

"I think I learned to be patient because I had lots of tough matches in quarter-finals. In a few of them I was very unlucky," Svitolina said. 

"This is also experience, I would say, because you have to save some energy, you have to work smart, you have to schedule your practices, you have to do the right recovery. 

"You have to find your own way, what works for you, for your body, for your mind. I think it is just experience. That's what I really learned."

Serena Williams and Andy Murray sailed into the third round of the mixed doubles by taking out 14th seeds Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo at Wimbledon.

Williams beat Alison Riske to reach the singles semi-finals in a tough battle on Centre Court earlier on Tuesday and returned to secure another victory with Murray.

The former singles number ones will face top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar following an entertaining 7-5 6-3 win.

Murray and Williams enjoyed themselves on the main show court, American Atawo and Frenchman Martin unable to break a star duo that also won their first match in straight sets.

Williams said she was feeling good after setting up a last-four clash with Barbora Strycova despite a slight issue with her ankle and the 23-time major singles champion looked fresh as she combined superbly with Murray.

Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert crashed out of the men's doubles in the second round, but with Williams in this sort of form, the Briton could lift a second trophy since returning from hip surgery after teaming up with Feliciano Lopez for a success at the Queen's Club Championships last month.

Williams returned with venom and Murray put the seal on an impressive victory with an ace as the dream team marched on.

Simona Halep says she has a new-found love for grass after beating Zhang Shuai to move into the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Halep sealed her place in the last four for only the second time at the All England Club with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 victory on Tuesday.

Elina Svitolina stands in the way of the 2018 French Open champion and a first final at SW19.

Seventh seed Halep revealed she feels much more at home on a surface on which she has struggled in the past.

Asked what she had learned from a last-four defeat to Eugenie Bouchard five years ago, the former world number one said: "I'm a different person. Everything changed.

"I have a lot of experience now. I'm more confident. I love grass. It's the first time I have said that.

"I think it's a big challenge for me, the next match. But I will take it like I took every match since I'm here. I'm relaxed. I'm happy. I'm motivated to win."

Quizzed about her love of the surface, she said: "I started to feel more comfortable on the court. I didn't slide at all this tournament. Hopefully, I will be the same in the next match.

"It's a little bit dangerous when you play on grass because the feet are not really as stable as you are on a hard court or clay court. That's why I prefer those surfaces.

"But now I started to feel it, to have it in my hands, to have it in my legs, and also in my mind, which is very important."

Serena Williams is not sure why she was fined for throwing a racket during a practice session ahead of Wimbledon.

Reports emerged on Monday claiming Williams had been fined $10,000 (£8,021) by Wimbledon organisers for damaging one of the practice courts with her racket on June 30, the day before the start of the tournament.

Williams slammed her racket onto the clay in the US Open final defeat to Naomi Osaka in September 2018, with the seven-time Wimbledon champion labelling umpire Carlos Ramos a "liar" and "thief" for handing her three code violations.

The fine did not seem to impact Williams in her Wimbledon quarter-final against Alison Riske, though, as she progressed to the last four on Tuesday with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over her compatriot on centre court.

And when asked about the incident in a post-match news conference, Williams explained she is confused as to why she was handed such a high fine, joking she actually has super-human strength like a character in the Avengers film series.

"I just threw my racket. I got fined," Williams said.

"I mean, I guess if you could tell me [what the damage was], I would appreciate it. I mean, I have always been an Avenger in my heart. Maybe I'm super strong, I don't know."

Williams will face Barbora Strycova in the last four after the Czech ended Johanna Konta's hopes with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 triumph on Centre Court.

Serena Williams apologised to Naomi Osaka for her outburst in the US Open final but maintains the incident demonstrated the unequal treatment received by female and male competitors.

Williams went down 6-2 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium last September as Osaka claimed her maiden grand slam success.

But it was her veteran opponent's reaction on the way to being denied a record-equalling 24th major triumph that stole the headlines, with Williams responding furiously to umpire Carlos Ramos handing her a game penalty after the official initially penalised her for a coaching violation.

In an article for Harper's Bazaar, the 37-year-old explained she took a long time to get over the defeat and started seeing a therapist. She concluded the potential impact upon Osaka was the root of her lingering disquiet, so reached out to the Japanese.

"Finally I realised that there was only one way for me to move forward. It was time for me to apologise to the person who deserved it the most," Williams wrote. "I started to type, slowly at first, then faster as if the words were flowing out of me."

Her message read: "Hey, Naomi! It's Serena Williams. As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other.

"I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you. I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete.

"I can't wait for your future, and believe me I will always be watching as a big fan! I wish you only success today and in the future. Once again, I am so proud of you. All my love, your fan, Serena."

In a response that reduced Williams to tears, Osaka stated, "People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can't differentiate between the two," and added, "No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing".

At the time, Williams complained to tournament referee Brian Earley that her punishment was disproportionate when set against male players who have behaved in the same way. Osaka's reply sharpened her focus on this.

"This incident—though excruciating for us to endure—exemplified how thousands of women in every area of the workforce are treated every day," she continued. "We are not allowed to have emotions, we are not allowed to be passionate. We are told to sit down and be quiet, which frankly is just not something I'm okay with.

"It's shameful that our society penalises women just for being themselves."

Reflecting upon her career struggles, Williams added: "In short, it's never been easy. But then I think of the next girl who is going to come along who looks like me, and I hope, 'Maybe, just maybe, my voice will help her'."

Osaka added this year's Australian Open to her haul, while Williams progressed to the semi-finals of Wimbledon on Tuesday with gripping 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Alison Riske.

Barbora Strycova earned a Wimbledon semi-final clash with Serena Williams as the Czech doubles specialist stunned British hope Johanna Konta.

On her 53rd singles mission in a grand slam, Strycova has achieved a monumental breakthrough, having only ever previously reached one quarter-final.

She beat Konta 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 on Centre Court, and on Thursday the 33-year-old will tackle Williams, 37, for a place in the final.

Williams has won all three of their past meetings, including a first-round Wimbledon clash seven years ago, without dropping a set. She is also chasing a record-tying 24th grand slam singles triumph.

But arguably she has never played Strycova in such form, with Konta confounded and exasperated by the manner of this defeat.

Konta led 4-1 against the world number 54 in the first set but gave the early break back, and a to-and-fro tie-break looked to be heading the Briton's way once she reeled off three stunning passing shots.

Three times a grand slam semi-finalist, Konta's level dipped to damaging effect at a critical juncture. Defending a set point on her own serve, she ploughed a forehand into the net.

Strycova was full of tricks, executing drop shots with a greater element of surprise than those dispatched from the Konta racket, and showing the deft touch expected of a player ranked third in the world in doubles.

She made an early move in the second set, opening up three break points when a cross-court passing shot wrongfooted Konta. On the second of those points, Konta jabbed a backhand wide and looked bewildered by the state of play.

Konta saved break point in the sixth game with a fine drop volley, only to double-fault and flay a drive volley long and wide to give up the double break.

There was no way back, Konta spearing a backhand long on match point as her title hopes, and British interest in the singles, were vanquished.

Strycova was asked how being a semi-finalist felt and said: "It sounds crazy but it's happening."

She added: "I am extremely happy, and my voice is shaking still right now because I can't believe it.

"I enjoyed it, it was a very special moment for me."

As for facing Williams, she said: "It's a great week to play her and a match I really look forward to playing."

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Barbora Strycova bt Johanna Konta [19] 7-6 (7-5) 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Strycova – 22/9
Konta – 28/34

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Strycova – 4/3
Konta – 3/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Strycova – 3/7
Konta – 1/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Strycova - 69
Konta – 62

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Strycova – 67/74
Konta – 51/64

TOTAL POINTS
Strycova - 72
Konta – 56

Elina Svitolina progressed through to her first grand slam semi-final as she ended Karolina Muchova's Wimbledon run with a 7-5 6-4 triumph.

Having shocked third-seed Karolina Pliskova in the round of 16, Muchova made a fine start on No.1 Court, racing to a 5-2 lead in the opening set.

But her inexperience was exposed as Svitolina moved through the gears to come from behind and claim the first set, then reeling off a five-game winning streak to start the second.

And despite a late charge from Muchova, Svitolina regained her composure to serve out for victory with an ace, setting up a last-four clash with Simona Halep.

Svitolina started well with a break in the first game, but Muchova swiftly rallied, breaking twice herself before holding serve to surge 5-2 in front.

The world number eight clawed her way back into the contest and after breaking in the ninth game, held in the next to draw level at 5-5.

An epic game followed, with Svitolina finally coming out on top when she converted a fifth break-point opportunity after 12 minutes of absorbing play between the pair, with a slack overhead from Muchova then handing the Ukrainian the set. 

Svitolina found herself 2-0 down in the second set, but immediately got her revenge in the next game before clawing back two break points to hold.

A weary Muchova shot handed the eighth seed the advantage, and the 22-year-old found herself 4-2 down when she sent a weak effort into the net from the baseline.

Another break followed, but Muchova – aided by the memories of her win over Pliskova from a similarly perilous position – stalled her opponent's progress.

However, Muchova's resistance was finally ended when, after she won a wonderful point with a sublime backhand volley, she failed to return a powerful serve to the corner.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Elina Svitolina [8] bt Karolina Muchova 7-5 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Svitolina – 24/16
Muchova – 34/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Svitolina – 2/1
Muchova – 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Svitolina – 6/11
Muchova – 4/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Svitolina - 55
Muchova - 66

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Svitolina – 59/47
Muchova – 52/46

TOTAL POINTS
Svitolina - 71
Muchova - 66

Serena Williams praised Alison Riske for forcing her to "put the business bun up" in a classic Wimbledon quarter-final battle.

Williams was pushed all the way by her fellow American in a gripping Centre Court tussle before sealing a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory on Tuesday.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion felt it was time to tie her hair back with Riske in full flow at the All England Club.

"Well, today it [her hair] was just in my way, and the wind. I was missing a shot because it's in my face," said the former world number one, back in action with Andy Murray in the mixed doubles later in the day.

"I was like, 'This is not happening'. I just needed to get it out of the way, put the business bun up and just get to business."

Williams was full of praise for Riske after ending her compatriot's best run at a major.

"I just needed to just fight. Alison, she played great throughout the whole tournament. She's beaten so many amazing players, players that have had great years," the seven-time Wimbledon singles champion said.

"She was not giving it to me. I needed to step up and take it. That's what I had to do."

Williams allayed concerns over a slight tweak of her right ankle and feels in great shape as she prepares to take on Barbora Strycova in the last four.

"This is the first time since Australia that I actually felt good. It's been a really, really long year for me already, and [a] hard year, because I'm usually not typically injured," she added.

"I don't know where I am. I do know I feel good. Now that I feel good, I can actually focus on training and technique and practice, something that I just literally haven't been able to do a lot of."

Serena Williams fended off inspired fellow American Alison Riske in a fierce battle to reach a 12th Wimbledon semi-final on Tuesday.

The unseeded Riske declared she was "ready for war" in her first grand slam quarter-final and kept to her word on Centre Court before finally going down 6-4 4-6 6-3.

Eleventh seed Williams passed a huge test to move a step closer to matching Margaret Court's tally of 24 grand slam singles titles, setting up a showdown with Barbora Strycova or Johanna Konta.

Riske had lost one won of 14 grass-court matches this year and pushed her esteemed compatriot all the way before an 18th Williams ace ended a thrilling contest.

Last-year's runner-up struck 48 winners in an absorbing match against the attacking Riske and will put her fitness levels to the test by returning for doubles action with Andy Murray later in the day.

Fired-up Pittsburgh native Riske beat world number one Ashleigh Barty to reach the last eight and was clearly not overawed as she took a 3-1 lead, but Williams was level at 3-3.

Riske took that setback on the chin, breaking with a searing backhand return but again failing to consolidate and the seven-time champion found another gear to win three games in a row and claim the opening set.

A cushioned Williams backhand volley had Riske scurrying in vain during the first game of the second set, the veteran also firing down two booming aces to hold.

Riske continued to come forward at every opportunity and broke to lead 5-4 with a majestic half-volley, then served out the set to love with no hint of nerves.

The underdog conjured up another winner to start the decider with a break after Williams had her ankle taped, but the former world number one hit straight back - a rasping forehand return making it 1-1.

Williams applied the pressure and a fourth double fault from Riske left her 3-1 down, but back came the world number 55 to get back on serve following a couple of huge returns.

Yet she was shaking her head after Williams showed great anticipation to get her nose in front at 5-3, before serving out the match to end Riske's best major run.

Simona Halep came through a gripping first-set examination to see off China's Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 and book a place in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time since 2014.

Halep, the highest-ranked player left in the draw, is chasing a second career grand slam but had to weather a considerable storm against outsider Zhang.

A break down, the world number seven escaped a marathon sixth game to halt Zhang's momentum before stealing the opener on a tie-break.

After those absorbing first 58 minutes, the second set was a more serene affair and Halep will face either Elina Svitolina or Karolina Muchova as she bids to reach a maiden final at the All England Club.

Zhang had never won a main draw match at Wimbledon until this year but, having already seen off seeds Caroline Garcia and Caroline Wozniacki, raced into a 3-0 lead in just over 10 minutes on Number One Court.

A pinpoint backhand into the back-right corner was the jewel in the 30-year-old's early break as her powerful, flat groundstrokes exuded composure and authority.

Halep's forehand was misfiring, and she had to negotiate a considerable crisis at 1-4, scrambling to save four break points and eventually hold.

The high-class and gruelling rallies required to do so appeared to play the 2018 French Open champion into form and Zhang coughed up a break in the next game with a double fault.

The set remained on serve from that point and Halep managed to keep her opponent's relentless attacks at arm's length to take the breaker 7-4.

If the Romanian star had a sense the storm had passed, it was confirmed when Zhang sent a tame forehand into the net to be broken for 3-1.

Halep consolidated with a hold to love and the world number 50 was predictably unable to relocate her sparkling earlier form.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Simona Halep [7] bt. Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Halep - 17/13
Zhang - 22/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Halep - 1/1
Zhang - 1/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Halep - 3/6
Zhang - 1/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Halep - 76
Zhang - 71

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Halep - 72/44
Zhang - 67/41

TOTAL POINTS
Halep - 74
Zhang - 61

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