The past few months have not been kind to Andy Murray. Despite once being a dominant force in the tennis arena, the Scot has had to contend with a string of injuries that have seen him largely sidelined for most of the professional tour. Never one to give up though, Murray has continued to claw his way back to the professional circuit and now, he’s got his eye set on an Olympic title having just been named in Team GB for the Tokyo Games.
In doing so, the two-time Olympic gold medalist will defend his title after winning both the singles titles at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Murray will now compete in singles and partner London-born Joe Salisbury, the 2020 Australian Open doubles champion. Since Rio, Murray has undergone hip surgery and now 34-years-of-age, many have questioned just how many more years the Scot has left in him. Still, the tennis star remains focused on the challenge ahead. “The Olympics means a huge amount to me, it’s a massive honour to be able to compete at a fourth Games,” he said. “Leading Team GB out at the opening ceremony five years ago in Rio was one of the highlights of my career. Going to an Olympics as defending champion is exciting and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Murray will join British No 1 Dan Evans in singles, who will lead the men’s team. He will also join forces with Neal Skupski, while Johanna Konta and Heather Watson will represent the women’s singles and compete together in doubles for Team GB.
While Murray’s involvement in the Olympics is certainly one worth celebrating, the event itself has come to be rocked by last-minute withdrawals. Already, two-time gold medalist Rafael Nadal has withdrawn after suffering a gruelling five-setter against Novak Djokovic in the French Open, as well as Dominic Thiem. The British team will also be without some of its top stars, including Cameron Norrie who will be seeded at Wimbledon for the first time but decided not to compete at Tokyo. For Norrie, the decision was one based on ranking as he noted the need to continue rising up the rankings. As The Guardian Reports, “The Olympic tennis event does not award ranking points and with the US hard court swing scheduled to begin a week after, Norrie is one of many to prioritise the regular tour.”
“While I wish I could compete in the Olympics and represent Great Britain, considering how the pandemic devastated the tennis calendar and created limit opportunities for players to move up the rankings, my team and I feel it is best for me to not partake in this year’s Olympics,” said Cameron. “It is important that I can continue to prepare and focus for the tournaments leading up to the US Open, the US Open itself and all subsequent events after as they are big opportunities to move up the ranks and keep momentum.”