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Murray and team-mates await fate

July 26, 2012 07:54 am

Thursday's Olympic tennis draw will have greater resonance with Britain's players than simply finding out their first-round opponents - it will also decide whether they can go to the opening ceremony.

With the tournament beginning on Saturday, those players in action on the opening day are unlikely to be able to go to the ceremony at the Olympic Stadium on Friday night. Team leader Paul Hutchins knows all his eight athletes are desperate to be part of the celebrations, and he has requested late starts for that reason.

Hutchins said: "We're going to make up our mind once we've seen the draw to see when people are playing."

He added: "There is this Olympic spirit amongst everybody, not only tennis players but all the athletes who are in the Olympic Games, and they're very conscious that they want to go to the opening ceremony because it's a once-in-lifetime experience, and we've also got to support LOCOG, the BOA and the IOC etc.

"But the first call must be from the players' point of view as to their performance the next day. I've put in some requests for when we play but we'll see."

Britain's team is made up of four men and four women, with Andy Murray the sole representative in the men's singles while the Murray brothers and Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming qualified by right for the men's doubles.

Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha, and Heather Watson and Laura Robson received wild cards into the women's doubles, with the former trio also in the singles.

Watson only found out on Tuesday that she had got into the singles after Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko withdrew, while Robson is now first alternate should anyone else pull out.

Paul Hutchins said: "I would like to get one more person in in Laura. I don't wish to damn anyone to injury but it would be great if Laura can get in the singles because she is of this class and her results recently have shown that."

The draws for the men's and women's singles and doubles will be made at 11am, while the mixed doubles draw will follow on Tuesday once the entries for the 16-team event have been decided this weekend.

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