Andy Murray claims Olympic win is bigger than the Grand Slams
British No1 Andy Murray hints his focus will be securing a GB medal at the Olympic Games this summer
Andy Murray has hinted that he will focus his Olympic campaign on the men’s singles at the All England Club this summer.
The world No4 said he would be open to compete in both the men’s and mixed doubles but acknowledged his strengths were elsewhere, with key rivals Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all expected to line up in the strongest Olympic tennis tournament ever.
Murray played with sibling Jamie, a Wimbledon mixed doubles champion with Jelena Jankovic in 2007, at the Beijing Games but they failed to progress beyond the second round.
But Britain now has a strong established doubles pairing of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, who are currently ranked tenth in the ATP Tour standings and were the only successful players at last weekend’s Davis Cup defeat to Belgium.
Murray also partnered Laura Robson in the 2010 and 2011 Hopman Cup, sparking up a much commented chemistry, but Elena Baltacha, currently ranked world number 62, is the obvious selection for the team.
“It should really be about who has the best chance of winning a medal,” he said, after confirming his participation at the Queen’s Club Aegon Championships for the next five years.
“My brother Jamie, Colin and Ross have played a lot more mixed doubles than me. I’m not very good at mixed doubles, my brother understands it a lot better than me.”
The three-time Grand Slam finalist lost to Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu, ranked over 70 places below him, in the singles first round at the Beijing Games and admitted he got his preparations wrong – arriving in the Chinese capital too late.
This time around, with just a few weeks between Wimbledon and the Olympics, Murray will stay at home in London, training at Queen’s Club for what will be an extended grass court season.
“Beijing was not a good experience on the court but a great experience off it, being part of all those athletes in the Olympic Village was an incredible honour,” he added.
“Tennis at the Olympics is a big deal now. Ten years ago guys were skipping it but I don’t think that will happen this year, especially with the tournament being staged at Wimbledon.
“It’s a major goal of my season. When you play on tour you are out there for yourself. At the Olympics you feel part of a bigger team and it’s just a different feeling and atmosphere than a regular tournament.
“I would say that winning an Olympic gold is bigger than winning a Grand Slam. It’s a huge, huge competition, the biggest sporting competition in the world.”
© Sportsbeat 2012
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