Excitement is mounting at Wimbledon over the “historic” prospect of Sir Andy Murray and Serena Williams playing on court side by side.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed that the duo would be partners in the mixed doubles competition at SW19.
British player Heather Watson said it was “brilliant” to see Sir Andy returning to action after hip surgery.
She said: “It’s great that he’s playing, in general. That’s so positive for the game. I think it will be really exciting to watch him play with Serena.”
Victoria Azarenka joked she was “kind of pissed” that Sir Andy had not asked to be her partner.
The Belarusian said: “Good luck to everybody else. It’s going to be a tough, tough, tough one to beat, you know. They both take it seriously.
“But I feel like it’s going to be just a pleasure for people to watch. “You know, it’s going to be historic. So I’ll be definitely watching, as well.”
Canada’s Milos Raonic said the Murray/Williams pairing could either “turn out incredibly well and be very exciting or it might sort of come up short”.
As singles players, Sir Andy and Williams have 26 grand slam singles titles between them.
They have been drawn against Germany’s Andreas Mies and Chilean Alexa Guarachi in the first round of the mixed doubles, which could take place on Friday.
Sir Andy said: “The opportunity of playing with Serena, arguably she is one of the best players of all time and the biggest female athletes ever, is something I might never get another chance to do and potentially I might not play mixed doubles again.”
Sir Andy’s mother Judy said the new partnership could be the “perfect match”.
“It looks like a really strong partnership,” she said.
Fans queuing for tickets outside the All England Club also welcomed the pairing of the two multiple grand slam champions.
Fiona Hiddleston, 34, from London, said: “I think it’s interesting, I think if they can manage to gel it will be a potentially very powerful doubles team.
“If they can get that team work going that could really be a threat to the rest of the field.”
Gayle Corry, 27, from Clare, Ireland, said: “It will be interesting how they match up and what tactics they have.
“I’m sure any of their opponents will be scared to face them.
“They are two of the best players in the world.”