TOKYO - Andy Murray has a piece of advice for the younger players: don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
And although the fact that he is the owner of two gold medals undoubtedly has a lot to do with it, the Briton’s astonishment appears sincere on his face when he talks to Around The Rings in Tokyo about those who decide to skip the Olympic Games to concentrate on the regular tournaments of the tennis tour.
“I can’t understand why players make that sort of decision, personally. These events are amazing,” the Scot told ATR hours before his tournament debut against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. On Monday he decided to pull out due to a minor thigh strain, but he is still competing in men’s doubles. Mixed doubles looks unlikely, GB Team sources told ATR.
Gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, Murray arrives in very different conditions in Tokyo than to those Games. Since the last Games he has undergone two hip surgeries, and at 34 years of age is now ranked 104th in the world.
“Tennis is different at the Olympics. When players are playing for their countries it is different. That´s what I love about this competition. It’s a shame that no one’s here to watch. It’s special for the countries and I’m glad to be here again and I will try my best to get another medal”, the three times Grand Slam champion added. Why is he in Tokyo? His answer sounds like a “how wouldn’t I?”.
“I know is different without the crowds and there´s a few more restrictions this year, but, it´s special. You get very few opportunities to play in an Olympics. For me it is the biggest sporting event in the world by far. So, my advice to younger players would be: “If you are not sure about it, come an experience it one time. If you don’t like it, then, it´s fine, you don’t have to come back. I love it and I enjoy it so much. Every tennis player should come and give it a go”.
The two-time Wimbledon champion and former world number one holds the two golds he won at the Games in very high esteem. He also won a silver medal in 2012′s mixed doubles.
“I would say that because I won two golds, then I know how special it was, so, for me it was amazing. Both are great but, not as many tennis players can say they have Olympic medals, because they only come every four years…and I have two golden ones”.