Andy Murray is hoping to be part of Britain’s gold rush at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Scot, already a two-time champion in singles, is targeting success in doubles with Joe Salisbury and the pair moved through to the quarter-finals with a 6-2 7-6 (2) victory over German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz.
Murray has been enjoying watching the British medals rolling in across other sports, saying: “It was a really good day yesterday. Obviously nice to see Tom Daley winning and Adam Peaty, another amazing performance from him. It’s been great, hopefully we can be part of that.”
The 34-year-old has put all his eggs into the doubles basket having pulled out of the singles ahead of his first match on Sunday after sustaining a minor thigh strain.
He looked comfortable on court on Tuesday and gave a largely positive fitness update, saying: “It felt fine. It hasn’t really affected me at all in the two matches that I’ve played.”
On the singles decision, he said: “It was very disappointing because I prepared well, was feeling good again and then just had something showing up on the scans that we weren’t too happy with.
“When we spoke about playing, I told Joe if I had any physical issues that I’d prioritise the doubles over singles, that’s why I made the decision to stick just with the doubles.
“I would have been annoyed with myself if I’d taken the decision to play with the issue that I had, made it worse, lost my singles and then not been able to perform well in the doubles. I think physically I’ll be OK for the rest of the tournament but I’ll need to take a break afterwards.”
Murray and Salisbury marked themselves out as potential medal hopes by comfortably beating second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the first round and they picked up where they left off with a dominant first set against Krawietz and Puetz.
The Germans responded well in the second set and forced a tie-break but Murray and Salisbury raised their level again to book a spot in the last eight.
Salisbury said: “We wanted to make sure we weren’t complacent after the first match. Obviously we played really well against a good team but we knew we had to keep that going.
“It was another tough test today and they showed that, the second set was really tight and we had to really work hard and play some good tennis to get through it. We’re going to have to keep doing that but obviously it’s going well so far.”
Murray’s enthusiasm for the Olympics was clear in the frequent shouts of ‘Let’s go’ that peppered the match, and he has been spending his time away from the court amassing an impressive collection of pins from other nations.
The Scot has found an ingenious way of outperforming his British team-mates, saying: “It’s a bit of a competition but we haven’t really been given that many pins to exchange so I’ve been trying to do pins for selfies to gain a bit of an edge.
“It’s good fun. You end up meeting some really interesting people. I met two Syrian brothers, one who’s competing for Syria, one who’s competing for the refugee team. You meet people from all different backgrounds and that’s one of the things I love about this competition.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe