Tokyo Olympics: Andy Murray picked for British team to defend gold

Two-time defending champion Andy Murray will attempt to win his third consecutive Olympic gold medal after being named to the British team on Thursday (June 24). The 34-year-old Murray will compete in singles and doubles at the Tokyo Olympics, his fourth games overall. The games open July 23. “The Olympics means a huge amount to me,” Murray said. Murray is the only men’s player with two gold medals in singles. He beat Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the final at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games after topping Roger Federer in straight sets for gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

“It’s a massive honour to be able to compete at a fourth games. Leading Team GB out at the opening ceremony five years ago in Rio was one of the highlights of my career. Going to a second Olympics as defending champion is exciting and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Murray added.

The former top-ranked player is preparing for Wimbledon next week. He’s ranked 119th. Dan Evans was also selected to compete in singles and doubles in Tokyo. The 26th-ranked Evans will partner with Neal Skupski, and Murray will play with Joe Salisbury in doubles.

Heather Watson and Australian-born Johanna Konta were selected to play singles, and they will partner for doubles. It will be the third Olympics for Watson and the second for Konta.

Hoping to write new chapter of Wimbledon love story

Wimbledon returns after a two-year absence next week and with it one of Centre Court’s favourite fixtures as Britain’s twice former champion Murray attempts to roll back the years. The 34-year-old is one of the crown jewels of British sport having ended 77 years of hurt by winning the 2013 Wimbledon title and repeating the feat three years later.

But hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019, the second one a resurfacing procedure, have made sightings of Murray at the All England Club a rarity in recent years and his last singles match was a painful defeat by Sam Querrey in the 2017 quarter-finals. The former world number one returns this year as a wildcard, with a ranking of 119, and while his hopes of adding a third title look remote, Murray will be assured of huge support every time he strides on to the hallowed turf.

He has only played a handful of Tour-level matches this year having missed the Australian Open because of a positive COVID-19 test and opting out of competing at the French Open.

Murray’s desire is clearly still there and he obviously draws inspiration from world number one Novak Djokovic, who is also 34, Rafa Nadal, who is 35, and the 39-year-old marvel that is Roger Federer – the trio he at one stage seriously rivalled.

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Sagar Biswas

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