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Serena up for battle of the sexes against Murray

June 28, 2013 10:17 IST

Serena up for battle of the sexes against Murray

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Serena Williams' iron grip on the women's game has reached such a level that even Andy Murray fancies taking on the American.

Williams showed she remains the immovable rock at the top of women's tennis with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over France's Caroline Garcia at Wimbledon on Thursday, exhibiting none of the vulnerability that sent her rivals tumbling 24 hours earlier.

Murray, second-ranked in the highly competitive men's game, has seen enough to make him think the ultra-athletic Williams has the tools to give him a match, challenging her in his BBC blog to a showdown in Las Vegas.


Image: Andy Murray and Serena Williams
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images and Julian Finney/Getty Images

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'He's probably one of the top three people I definitely don't want to play'

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Williams is game, but she is not feeling confident.

"He wants to play me?," she said after moving into the third round. "Is he sure? That would be fun. I doubt I'd win a point, but that would be fun.

"He's probably one of the top three people I definitely don't want to play. But maybe we can have a little bit of a showdown," Williams added.


Image: Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a backhand during a practice session
Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

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Battle of the sexes has had a prominent place in tennis

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The battle of the sexes has had a prominent place in the history of tennis stretching back to Bobby Riggs' efforts to prove a macho point against then Wimbledon champion Billy Jean King 40 years ago.

Riggs was a former All England Club victor himself, albeit as far back as 1939, and at the age of 55 wanted to show that women's tennis was an inferior product. He was humbled in three straight sets.

The format was dusted off in 1992 when Martina Navratilova took on Jimmy Connors, but with the rules slightly altered in her favour and without the burning chauvinism that had marked the earlier clash.


Image: Bobby Riggs of the USA comes off court defeated by Billie Jean-King of the USA after a Battle of the Sexes Challenge
Photographs: AllsportUK/Getty Images

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Serena's terms

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Should Murray and Williams ever set this up, the American wants it to be on her terms.

"I get alleys (tramlines)," she said. "He gets no serves. I get alleys on my serves, too. He gets no legs, yeah."

In the real world, Williams set about returning the tournament Richter scale to normal against Garcia on Thursday, after tremors ripped through the All England Club the previous day, leaving seeds cast aside in the women's and men's draws.

Williams' French Open final opponent Maria Sharapova bowed out moaning about the slippery courts and second seed Victoria Azarenka exited through injury without hitting a ball on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury in her opening match.

Williams showed she is made of sterner stuff.

Her 19-year-old opponent, ranked 100 in the world, had a rasping forehand and booming serve, but could not put it all together consistently enough to trouble Williams.


Image: Serena Williams of the US
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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Murray believes Serena could beat him on grass

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British tennis star Andy Murray has said that he believed that he would lose if he played against American ace Serena Williams on grass courts.

Making his admission on Twitter, Murray, who marched into the third round at Wimbledon on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu, said that he does not rate his chances against the five-times Wimbledon winner, the Daily Star reported.


Image: Andy Murray
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Murray got a huge boost

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Responding to a tennis fan's comment on Twitter that he reckoned that Williams could beat the World No 2 on grass, Murray replied that he also believed the same, adding that a match should be set up between him and Williams on grass to see how far he can go against the American.

Meanwhile, the report said that Murray fans with tickets for Centre Court in Wimbledon were furious after the No 2 seed's match was relegated to Court One.

Murray got a huge boost on Wednesday as defending champion Roger Federer crashed out to Ukranian Sergiy Stakhovsky, and No 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga quit through injury -- leaving the Scot with a clear path to the final, the report added.


Image: Andy Murray
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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