In her storied 41 years, Venus Williams can never have experienced anything quite like being part of a double act with Nick Kyrgios.
For starters, the great American can’t ever have had the indignity of hearing her doubles partner keep telling her, “good serve V!’ or ”well played V!” or “Sorry V!”.
And has she ever had to stand by silently alongside a bloke who was getting a code violation for cursing in what had hitherto been genteel mixed doubles fare?
It’s also a fair bet that she’s never been entertained at a changeover by some punter in the crowd serenading her, “C’mon Aussie, c’mon!…C’mon Venus, c’mon!'”
However, the ageless doyenne of Wimbledon seemed to savour every minute of her first on-court date with her Australian pal, as they ended up in a joyous embrace following their first round 6-3 3-6 7-5 victory over equally cheery US duo Austin Krajicek and Sabrina Santamaria.
The new honorary Aussie “V” has already been knocked out of the singles but her combination with Kyrgios, which had come about after the maverick had reckoned he’d always wanted to play alongside the five-times champion and “legend”, really seemed to cheer her up on Friday.
She laughed and joked with her new partner throughout a match which was played in a splendid knockabout spirit — until things started to get serious in a deciding set.
Kyrgios just can’t help himself and got into a heated debate with umpire Arnaud Gabas over what seemed to be the length of time during which he was allowed to make a challenge as the “dream team” got broken by their little-known opponents.
But the illustrious pair’s competitive spirit came to the fore as they battled back immediately and, amid a series of enjoyable rallies headed by one remarkable rat-a-tat volleying exchange at the net, ended up receiving a standing ovation after one hour 55 minutes.