Murray has golden chance - Hewitt

27 July 2012 / 10:26

Andy Murray is a strong contender to win the gold medal in the men's tennis singles event at London 2012, according to Australian Lleyton Hewitt.

British number one Murray will be looking to recover from his Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer less than a month ago by standing on the top of the podium at the same venue at the end of the Games.

His route to success remains blocked with Federer and Novak Djokovic both competing, but Hewitt believes Murray has just as good a chance of taking the top prize.

"At the moment, those three guys are on form and how they have been playing in the last three or four years means they are worthy favourites for the medals," the 31-year-old said.

"With him being one of a number of Brits going for a medal, it might take a tiny bit of pressure off him that he normally has. He got upset early in Beijing in 2008 which was disappointing, and he has a tough first round, so he's got to be ready. It's a tough situation at home, but it's something he will be ready for."

Should Hewitt emerge from his opening rounds - he takes on Sergiy Stakhovsky first - then a meeting with Djokovic is likely to be on the cards.

Over the traditional five sets, the five-time major winner would be a favourite to win but, with all matches being three sets until the final, the chances of a shock are higher.

Hewitt knows this and is prepared to try and catch one of the bigger names cold and said: "Although my five-set record is as good as anyone's, on grass, you can get in a bit of a shoot-out and anything can happen against a Federer, Djokovic or Murray."

Speculation about when Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon winner, will retire has been rife of late, with both form and fitness deserting him but while this will be his last Games - he has failed to progress beyond the second round so far - he is not willing to call time on his career just yet.

"There has been speculation for the last 20 grand slams. I am the ultimate professional, focussed on what I have to do, and once you get other thoughts, you're not going to do your best," he said.