Unlike Melichar, Azarenka has myriad experience in Grand Slam finals, as the former World No.1 and two-time Australian Open singles champion also has three women’s doubles runner-up plates to go with her two mixed doubles championships. This is the first time Azarenka has made it this far in the Wimbledon mixed doubles event, but she exhibited no nerves as she and Murray swept to victory.
Murray, who won the Wimbledon mixed doubles last year with Martina Hingis, as well as ten years prior to that with Jelena Jankovic, has been a stalwart partner for Azarenka, although he nearly faltered at the start of Friday’s semifinal, falling behind double break point in his first service game, before holding for 1-1 after an Azarenka putaway closed out the game.
Spurred on by that survival, the Belarusian/British tandem took the first break of the match in the next game, with Azarenka breaking Dart via a beautiful service return which led to a volley error from the young British woman.
Clarke, 19, and Dart, 21, demonstrated powerful groundstrokes throughout the match, which make them potential future standard-bearers for British tennis. However, they were unable to garner a foothold while returning in the opening set, and fell behind 5-2 after Dart’s service was broken for a second time — despite acing Murray twice.