Murray hopes to play part at Olympics

21 June 2012 / 16:32

Andy Murray is determined to contribute to Team GB's medal haul in London after the tennis star admitted he got too caught up in the Olympic experience in Beijing.

The world number four was officially announced as the first member of the tennis team for this summer's Games at a press conference at Wimbledon on Thursday morning, and he will be a big medal hope. Murray made his Olympic debut four years ago but it ended prematurely as he was beaten by Lu Yen-hsun in the first round of the singles.

Murray said: "I get inspired by watching other athletes. For me, watching Usain Bolt at the last Olympics was incredible. When I played in Beijing it was a bit of an eye-opener for me and I maybe got wrapped up a bit too much in it. I was trying to see other sports and watch as many of the athletes as I could."

He added: "Having had that experience, I will learn from that and do things a little bit differently this time and hopefully that will contribute to a better performance because I was very disappointed when I finished so early in Beijing.

"You go back to your room in the Olympic Village and there is a table of who has won and who has lost, and which medals have been won, and you feel like you haven't contributed. It was tough, and I didn't like it and I want to do better this time."

When tennis returned to the Olympic programme in 1988 after a gap of 64 years it was not considered to be anything like on a par with the grand slams and threw up some surprise medallists, particularly on the men's side.

But that has changed in recent years and the tournament in Beijing was of a very high quality, with Rafael Nadal winning gold and Novak Djokovic bronze. The added incentive of this year's event being held at Wimbledon will ramp up the profile even more, and Murray has no doubts the medals will mean as much to their recipients as grand slam honours.

He said: "Maybe 15 or 20 years ago a lot of top players were missing the Olympics whereas now everybody plays. I've spoken to many guys, for example the fifth-ranked Spanish player, who are missing out on the Olympics, and they're gutted.

"If you look at the reaction of the players at the last Olympics - Djokovic won a bronze medal and he was in tears. You wouldn't be that happy if you lost in the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

"It means a lot to the players when you're representing your country and it's definitely up there with the grand slams."