Wimbledon 2018: Jamie Murray thrilled to defend title with Victoria Azarenka

Jamie Murray and Victoria Azarenka
Jamie Murray and Victoria Azarenka are shining in the mixed doubles
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

The opportunity to play with Victoria Azarenka was enough to persuade Jamie Murray to change his Wimbledon plans and defend his mixed doubles crown.

The Scot, 32, won last year with the now-retired Martina Hingis, the pair going on to add the US Open title.

Murray and two-time Australian Open winner Azarenka are into the second round at SW19 after a promising start.

"I wasn't going to play but I was like 'wow, that's a great partner'," explained Murray.

They face seventh seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah on Monday after an opening win against Czech pair Roman Jebavy and Lucie Hradecka.

Murray is also progressing well in the men's doubles with partner Bruno Soares.

The Scottish-Brazilian fifth seeds are now the highest-ranked team left in the draw and face British brothers Ken and Neal Skupski in the last 16.

"Bruno was the matchmaker, he texted to say 'do you want to play with Azarenka'," said Murray, who had originally ruled out playing on two fronts to rest sore knees.

"So I called my coach [Louis Cayer] and said 'I know this was going to be the year we were going to do men's doubles and that would be it, but it's Wimbledon and an opportunity to play with someone great'.

"He said 'go for it'. So I texted her coach and said that I'm up for it."

After their first round success, Belarusian former world number one Azarenka, 28, said: "We are mixed doubles soul-mates,", with Murray adding: "She tells me what to do."

Gordon Reid was a doubles winner at Wimbledon last year
Scotland's Gordon Reid was a doubles winner at Wimbledon last year

Gordon Reid, who won the wheelchair singles title in 2016 and has won all four Grand Slam titles in the doubles, begins his campaign in both events alongside partner Alfie Hewett.

"I expect the competition to be really tough," Reid told BBC Scotland. "There's eight men in the draw and I think all eight on their day could go out and win the title.

"I just hope I can perform well. I've been training well, I'm feeling confident in my tennis just now, and it's just about producing that on a match court now."

Redi reached the semi-finals in both the singles and doubles events in the French Open last month, and on his favoured grass surface is hopeful he can go one better.

He said: "Its great to be back flying the flag for Scotland. Jamie [Murray] is going strong again, so hopefully we can make it a couple of Scots in the finals weekend."

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