Tokyo Olympics: Andy Murray 'feels good' as he prepares for Olympic defence

Andy Murray
Defending Olympic champion Murray is now ranked outside the top 100 but reached the third round at Wimbledon this summer
Tokyo Olympic Games on the BBC
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Andy Murray says he "feels good" as he prepares to defend his Olympic tennis title in Tokyo, but admits there is anxiety among the team over Covid-19.

The Briton won back-to-back gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016 but has twice required hip surgery since and is currently ranked 104th in the world.

Murray will open against ninth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

"I've prepared as best as I can. I have tough draws in singles and doubles but I think I have a chance," he said.

Speaking to BBC sports editor Dan Roan, Murray added: "If I can get through a round or two I'll start to feel more comfortable. I also have the experience of playing in the Olympics, which I can use to my advantage"

Team GB 'anxious' about Covid-19 impact

Murray also says there has been an "anxiousness" among the British team in the build-up to the Games because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Britain's highest-ranked tennis players Dan Evans and Johanna Konta were both forced to withdraw from the Olympics after testing positive for coronavirus this month, while Amber Hill had to withdraw from the women's skeet competition on Wednesday after testing positive.

"It happened to me before the Australian Open and I was gutted," said Murray, who was unable to travel to Australia in January after testing positive for Covid-19.

"Thankfully I was able to compete in another Grand Slam a few months later, but if you've been preparing for something for five years and something like that to happens to you it would be brutal.

"So there is an anxiousness, but from what I've seen everyone is taking the protocols seriously so hopefully there won't be too many issues."

Former world number one Murray won consecutive matches at a Grand Slam for the first time in four years when he reached the third round at this year's Wimbledon.

The 34-year-old said he needed to weigh up "if all the hard work is worth it" in the immediate aftermath of his third-round defeat by Canada's Denis Shapovalov, but insists he has no plans to retire just yet.

"It can be hard and after tough losses like that at Wimbledon you question a lot of things," he said.

"I do still feel like I am capable of playing high-level tennis and when that isn't the case I will stop playing. But right now I don't believe that is the case."

Murray faces French second seeds in doubles

Murray will also play in the men's doubles alongside Joe Salisbury. The pair face French second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.

Brother Jamie Murray and compatriot Neal Skupski take on Argentina's Andres Molteni and Horacio Zeballos.

Elsewhere in the men's singles, British debutant Liam Broady plays Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo, while Heather Watson faces Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are among big names not competing in Tokyo but Wimbledon champions Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty are in Japan alongside home favourite Naomi Osaka.

World number one Djokovic is bidding for a 'Golden Slam' - Olympic gold and all four Grand Slams in one year - with the Serb having already triumphed at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2021.

He will open his campaign against Bolivian world number 139th Hugo Dellien.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka, meanwhile, faces China's Zheng Saisai in the first round in the Japanese player's first match for almost two months since she withdrew from the French Open to look after her mental health.

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