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Medals to appease Murray's hunger
Like your typical Brit, Andy Murray does not give much away. He is impressively impassive, speaking in measured tones of a man much older than his young years. But Murray was surprisingly candid, after his victory over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in Wimbledon yesterday.
The 25-year-old Scottish superstar is immensely popular and his presence alone in Center Court made sure that the previously empty seats were quickly filled. Murray, for his part, did enough to keep the crowd happy with a no-frills 6-2, 6-4 victory. But it was what Murray said after the game that proved to be the most interesting.
Olympic gold is clearly important to Murray, especially perhaps, after his heartbreaking loss to Roger Federer in the final of Wimbledon a few weeks ago.
“It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, to go for gold in the Olympics while playing at home,” he admitted. And Murray is hedging his bets by choosing to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the Olympics.
His doubles adventure with brother Jamie ended in the first round but he is still in with a chance in the mixed doubles where he is partnering Laura Robson. Murray though admitted that having his brother on the tour was a refreshing experience and it had helped him evolve as a player.
“Tennis is a lonely sport,” said Murray evoking his idol Andre Agassi who had said much the same in his autobiography.
“As an 18-year-old on tour, it is not easy to be around so many older guys,” he said, pointing to the gathered press. It elicited tittles of laughter but Murray explained himself.
“I mean it with the greatest respect. You need to have fun and that is not always possible when the people you are on tour with are mostly your father's age,” he said.
Murray admitted that having brother Jamie along for the ride had made it a much more pleasant experience for him.
“It is nice when you have someone who knows your personality, who knows what you like and what you do not like. It's nice to be around someone who knows you from such a young age,” he said.
For Murray, winning gold in the Olympics is the best chance to erase the bitter memories and tears of Wimbledon. But familiar foes stand in his way. Roger Federer continues unabated and Novak Djokovic yesterday mercilessly dismissed Andy Roddick in a startling display of tennis.
But with the home crowd on his back and luck on his side, there may be a golden smile in it for him yet.
[ Sports ] 2012-08-01