Andy Murray to defend Olympic tennis title at Tokyo Games

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray will defend his title in Tokyo after being named in Team GB’s team for the Tokyo Games.

Murray, who won the singles competitions at London 2012 and Rio 2016, will compete in singles and partner Joe Salisbury, the 2020 Australian Open champion, in doubles.

“The Olympics means a huge amount to me, it’s a massive honour to be able to compete at a fourth Games,” said the 34-year-old. “Leading Team GB out at the opening ceremony five years ago in Rio was one of the highlights of my career. Going to a second Olympics as defending champion is exciting and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The men’s team will be headed by British No 1 Dan Evans in singles, who will join forces with Neal Skupski. Johanna Konta and Heather Watson will be Great Britain’s representatives in the women’s singles and they will compete together in doubles.

The tennis field in Tokyo has already seen numerous withdrawals, including from Rafael Nadal, a two-time gold medalist, and Dominic Thiem. Some withdrawals have already generated criticism, with the top Chilean player, Cristian Garin, denouncing “messages of hate” in a statement on Wednesday.

The British team will also be without some of its top players. Cameron Norrie, who will be seeded at Wimbledon for the first time, has decided not to compete in Tokyo, while Jamie Murray was unable to secure a place on the team. In a statement, Norrie cited the need to continue rising up the rankings. The Olympic tennis event does not award ranking points and with the US hard court swing scheduled to begin a week after, Norrie is one of many to prioritise the regular tour.

“While I wish I could compete in the Olympics and represent Great Britain, considering how the pandemic devastated the tennis calendar and created limited opportunities for players to move up the rankings, my team and I feel it is best for me to not partake in this year’s Olympics,” Norrie wrote on social media. “It is important that I can continue to prepare and focus for the tournaments leading up to the US Open, the US Open itself and all subsequent events after as they are big opportunities to move up the ranks and keep momentum.”