Amidst the drama of the first week of Wimbledon, when upsets became almost de rigueur, Andy Murray threw out a challenge to one of the world’s top tennis players.

The unusual part of the challenge was of course that it was not directed towards Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi or even John McEnroe in his sights; but Serena Williams.

It is not a new concept of course, in fact it comes around every few years, but some notables have changed in the last couple of decades or so at the top of both the women's and the men's games.

Firstly, the top of the women's game is dominated by physically strong hitters of the tennis ball in Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.

But equally the men's game too is tougher physically than it's ever been, with Rafael Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray imposing athletes who are more than ably backed up by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro.

Murray v Williams would not be the first 'battle of the sexes'

In 1973, four months after Bobby Riggs had beaten Australian Margaret Court, Billie Jean King famously beat Riggs in the first real 'hyped' battle of the sexes in Houston 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

It was a match King described as being vital in the push towards a fully fledged and respected women's tour.

The match-up also had a very real significance at a time when women were still fighting for equality in their everyday lives.

Nineteen years later, Jimmy Connors, then very much on the verge of retirement, overcame Martina Navratilova 7-5, 6-2 in Las Vegas.

The city seems an ideal venue for a glamour match between Murray and Williams, and the Scot has this take on the potential clash with Serena, writing in his column on the BBC.

"I've never hit with her [Williams] but she's obviously an incredible player and I think people would be interested to see the men play against the women to see how the styles match up," he said.

"It's happened in the past with Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova. How about Las Vegas as a venue?"

The top players are definitely interested in the concept, perhaps starved of anything unusual to excite them outside the week to week tour events.

When asked his opinion, Djokjovic not only backed the plan but also nominated Maria Sharapova as his opponent in another potential 'sexes' battle.

"I'll play Sharapova anywhere she likes since Serena is already (meeting Andy Murray)," he said.

Laying the ground rules

Sharapova's thoughts on that clash are unknown after she crashed out of Wimbledon in the second round, but Williams has given it the tick off, meaning it has a good chance of happening.

"He wants to play me? Is he sure?" Williams said. "That would be fun. He's probably one of the top three people I definitely don't want to play.

"But, yeah, maybe we can have a little bit of a showdown. That would be fine.

"I get alleys (tramlines). He gets no serves. I get alleys on my serves, too. He gets no legs. Maybe I can get a game. I'm not sure, but I think I can get a game."

Fans like the concept and would watch, but the fact is that Williams would need at least some of her wish list.

The American leads by 16 major titles to one but that’s where it ends when you look at some other statistics.

Murray’s top serve comes in at 145 mph against Williams' 129mph, and Murray’s famous physicality and weight of shot would almost certainly prevail.

But maybe by giving Murray some significant handicaps a decent contest could happen?

The debate would be of course just how big those handicaps could be, while still maintaining integrity of sorts in the contest.

The sad reality of the match though that by the time playing field has been levelled, the very thing that makes sport so thrilling and exciting will most probably have been lost.

Exhibition matches are by their very nature usually far more exciting in concept than they are in reality, as little or nothing hangs on the actual result.

Sadly this looms as another of these over-hyped events.

The warm-up for the clash could be Julia Gillard v Tony Abbott or Will Smith against Naomi Watts, such is the lack of point in the result of the sporting contest which would follow (as enticing as those matches may be to some!).

Connors and Navratilova were past their prime and Billie Jean against Riggs was very much in a different era, and with far more meaning off the court.

Serena against Andy would be a famous match which would draw a huge television audience, but in reality it would tell us little except that occasionally, just for novelty, tennis fans will go to watch just about anything. Especially in Las Vegas.