Andy Murray’s superstar partnership with Serena Williams was toppled in the third round of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.
The All England Club’s first power couple came unstuck against top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar on Court Two.
There were some spectacular exchanges and stunning winners from both former world number ones, who dropped the first set but hauled themselves level to the delight of a capacity crowd.
But Brazilian-American duo Soares and Melichar ultimately had too much for ‘Murena’ and ran out 6-3 4-6 6-2 winners.
Defeat might be no bad thing for Williams, who has the small matter of a singles semi-final against Barbora Strycova on Thursday to concentrate on.
Murray, meanwhile, now has nine doubles matches under his belt – following his win at Queen’s Club with Feliciano Lopez and his dabble in the men’s doubles here – as he builds towards a singles comeback following career-saving hip surgery.
In the first set Williams helped bring up a break point with a stunning point-blank volley at the net which even had sister Venus shaking her head in disbelief.
But Soares and Melichar repelled that threat and then forced two break points on the Williams serve, taking the second when the Brazilian pinged a return across court.
Early in the second set Murray held to love twice, but Soares and Melichar ensured the pressure mounted with every hold, the former’s serve proving particularly impenetrable.
That was until 4-5 when Soares – Jamie Murray’s former partner – did the family a favour, double-faulting three times to gift wrap the set.
Into the decider and Murray was immediately broken, Soares thwacking a winner past Williams to make amends for the previous game.
The top seeds had the initiative and did not let go. The Williams serve also went south and suddenly the deficit was 4-0.
The end came when Murray thumped a return into the net to bring the curtain down on a hugely entertaining Wimbledon sideshow.