Shropshire Star

Andy Murray selected for Team GB’s Olympic tennis squad

The two-time Olympic singles champion has been selected for the singles competition in Paris and could still compete in the doubles event.

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Andy Murray has been selected to represent Team GB for a fifth Olympics after being included in next month’s squad for the Paris Games.

Murray, who back in February signalled his intention to retire later this year, has been granted an ITF place to compete at Roland Garros despite his lowly singles ranking of 97 due to being a former grand-slam winner and Olympic gold-medallist.

Team GB were also notified on Thursday that 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu would be in the mix for an ITF place, but she turned down the chance due to the multiple changes in surface over the coming weeks and after only recently returning from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Murray is one of four male singles players selected by LTA Olympic team leader Iain Bates alongside Jack Draper, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans, with Katie Boulter the sole female participant for Britain.

Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski will represent Team GB in the men’s doubles and the pairing of Murray and Evans have been nominated for an additional space in that competition, which will be determined by the ITF – the governing body of world tennis who run the tournament – on June 25.

Bates explained the complicated nature around the criteria for doubles selection during a press conference to announce the Team GB tennis squad at Queen’s Club.

“If you’re in the (doubles) top-10, then you get a choice of who you play with in top 400. Of course in our thinking, if we had two players in the top-10, then it’s our aim to get a maximum number of teams in and give ourselves the most number of medal shots,” Bates said.

“In that scenario, the team of Murray and Salisbury and Evans and Skupski was definitely an option. Come the ranking list post-French Open, unfortunately Neal was no longer in the top-10 so that forced us into thinking in a different way.”

On the prospect of Murray and Evans being granted a place in the doubles competition by the ITF, Bates insisted: “We’re confident.

“We’ve done our various projections around how we think it will work. Once you get to a certain stage in the acceptance list, it becomes singles-singles priority.

“The fact Dan and Andy are both singles, actually gives them a better chance of getting into the draw than a singles-doubles combination based on the rankings of the playing group that we have on the acceptance date. So, yeah we’re confident.”

Murray had cast doubt on his involvement at the Paris Games if he was only selected for the singles competition earlier this week.

However, Bates is confident the two-time Olympic champion will represent Team GB for a fifth time next month after he made his debut at the Beijing Games in 2008.

“The conversations for us at this point are, are you available for selection and of course the guys have made themselves available for selection,” Bates added.

“Obviously I saw Andy’s comments earlier in the week, but he’s available for selection and he is without question one of our greatest Olympians.

“Having been through three Olympics with him, I think it means a lot not only to our team but the wider Team GB that Andy is with us. Let’s hope things fall in our favour and the team is as we’ve just announced.”

Team GB’s seven-person squad could be extended if the women’s doubles nomination of Boulter and Heather Watson is granted on June 25.

A combination of Harriet Dart and Maia Lumsden has also been put forward, but the mixed doubles pairings will be decided at the tournament, which is due to run between July 27 and August 4 at Roland Garros.

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