Andy and Jamie Murray will lead Great Britain’s bid for more Olympic tennis glory after the brothers were officially named in the squad for the Rio Games yesterday.
After memorably winning gold in the men’s singles by thrashing Roger Federer in the Olympic final at Wimbledon four years ago, world number two Andy Murray will defend the title in August and also has hopes of a medal in the men’s doubles with his brother.
The 29-year-old, who finished runner-up in the French Open last weekend, also earned a silver medal in the 2012 Games after reaching the mixed-doubles final with Laura Robson and could compete in that event again.
“Playing for Team GB during London 2012 gave me some of the best memories I have in sport,” Andy Murray said. “Being a home Olympic Games, it was such a special occasion and the atmosphere at Wimbledon was like nothing I have ever experienced. I watched Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill win gold the night before my final and it definitely helped inspire me. Winning medals for your country is as good as it gets and I can’t wait to get to Rio to try and win more medals.”
Having led Britain to a historic first Davis Cup title since 1936 last year, the Murray brothers will be among the favourites for doubles gold in Brazil. That isn’t just down to the presence of two-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, as Jamie Murray is one of the world’s top doubles players, having won this year’s Australian Open crown after reaching the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 2015.
But the Scots will have to improve significantly on their doubles efforts in London 2012, when they lost in the first round, and the Beijing Games in 2008, when they bowed out in the second round.
“I didn’t quite do myself justice in previous Games, but I’m playing some of the best tennis of my career and coming into my peak now,” Jamie Murray said. “London was a real anti-climax for me and I want to make amends. It’s a unique event because if you stuff it up you have to wait four years. The doubles will be extremely strong, but we have a chance to do well.”
Team GB tennis leader Iain Bates revealed Andy Murray will stay in a hotel outside the Olympic village with the rest of his backroom team to replicate his preparations for Grand Slams, while the other British squad members will be in the village.
Joining the Murrays in the British squad for the women’s events are world number 18 Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.
With doping high on the agenda ahead of the Olympics, Watson was asked about the two-year ban given to Maria Sharapova this week after the Russian tested positive for the banned medication meldonium during January’s Australian Open.
“You have to write down all the medication you’re taking when you’re tested and she didn’t so she has to pay the price,” Watson said. “I’ve been following it. It’s like a soap opera.”
Amid concerns about the Zika virus that has prompted some competitors to opt out of the Olympics in other sports, Konta insisted she was happy to travel to Rio.
“The British Olympic Association have updated us with the latest information on that and while we will be taking it (the virus) seriously, we have full confidence in that information,” she said.
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