Tokyo Olympics: Defending champion Andy Murray withdraws from singles with quad issue

By Sports Desk July 24, 2021

Andy Murray's chances of winning a third straight Olympics title in the men's singles have been dashed by a quad strain.

The Team GB star was champion at London 2012 and Rio 2016, becoming the first player to ever defend a singles title in tennis.

Murray was due to start his campaign against Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime on Sunday but after consulting with medical staff he was told not to compete in both the singles and doubles.

The three-time grand slam winner started his doubles campaign alongside Joe Salisbury with an upset win over second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Saturday.

Murray will continue his quest for a third Olympics gold alongside Salisbury.

"I am really disappointed at having to withdraw but the medical staff have advised me against playing in both events," Murray said via a Team GB news release.

"So, I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles and focus on playing doubles with Joe."

Murray was considered an outsider for singles success in Tokyo having been blighted by injuries in recent years.

His absence is a blow to a men's singles event already missing the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, though.

World number one Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite to win gold. The Serbian has already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2021 and is chasing Olympic gold and the US open to become just the second player after Steffi Graf to complete the coveted 'Golden Slam'.

Related items

  • Murray blames 'poor attitude' for Schwartzman loss in Antwerp Murray blames 'poor attitude' for Schwartzman loss in Antwerp

    Andy Murray fumed at his own mentality and "poor" attitude after falling to a straight-sets defeat to Diego Schwartzman at the European Open.

    Two days on from beating Frances Tiafoe in a three-set epic, Murray fell to a 6-4 7-6 (8-6) loss to the second-seeded Argentine in Antwerp.

    The three-time grand slam winner, who in January 2019 underwent hip resurfacing surgery, was 4-1 up in the first set but was reeled back in and lost out in a hard-fought contest.

    Following the defeat, a frustrated Murray said: "I didn't make as many good decisions as I would have liked in the second set dealing with adversity.

    "Mentally I was poor, and my attitude was poor on the court."

    Murray is still slated to play in Austria and Stockholm before the season is out, while he could also enter the Paris Masters either via a wildcard entry or going through the qualifiers.

    "There'll be a decision on the final Paris wildcard on Monday, but I might even play the qualis there," Murray added. 

    "Sport is a results business. Play well or poorly doesn't really matter if you lose matches. You need to be winning. 

    "That's what I want in the last few tournaments. They are really strong tournaments and there are no guarantees the results will come, but I want to win more matches."

  • Rublev suffers shock Moscow defeat, Murray eliminated by Schwartzman in Antwerp Rublev suffers shock Moscow defeat, Murray eliminated by Schwartzman in Antwerp

    Andrey Rublev's hopes of retaining the Kremlin Cup on home soil in Moscow are over after he suffered a surprise defeat to Adrian Mannarino.

    Mannarino ultimately came out on top 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 but he had to do it the hard way, coming back from match point down to set up a meeting with Ricardas Berankis, who lost only tree games in a 6-2 6-1 win over Federico Coria.

    Rublev was never cruising, however, as Mannarino only just fell short in the first set and then took the second to a tiebreak, which he eventually won to turn the tide.

    The 33-year-old, who lost to Rublev in the final two years ago, took things up a notch in the decider and did not face a single break point as he got the job done despite the home support.

    "The crowd was cheering for Andrey but that is normal," he said after reaching the quarter-finals. "I was happy to play with such a nice atmosphere.

    "We have been playing for a long time without fans, so it is nice to enjoy a stadium with crowds now."

    Second-seed Aslan Karatsev is now the favourite in Moscow, and the Russian had few issues in a 6-4 6-3 defeat of Egor Gerasimov.

    Karatsev will face Gilles Simon next following his 6-3 6-2 win over Mackenzie McDonald, while Pedro Martinez won 6-3 6-4 over Filip Krajinovic to book his passage.

    At the European Open in Antwerp, Andy Murray's hopes of winning a first ATP Tour title in two years were ended by number two seed Diego Schwartzman.

    The Argentinian trailed 4-1 in the first set but fought back to win 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in his first ever match against the Scot, whose last tour triumph was in Antwerp.

    In his on-court interview, Schwartzman said: "It was a pleasure to play against Andy. We had not played before and he is coming back and every week he is playing better and moving better.

    "I have a lot of respect because when I grew up playing tennis, I was watching Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal], Andy and Novak [Djokovic] and right now playing against him is a pleasure for me."

    Seventh seed Lloyd Harris is also into the quarter-finals after a straightforward 6-2 6-3 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in just 72 minutes, Marton Fucsovics came through 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-1 against Roberto Bautista Agut and Brandon Nakashima edged past Henri Laaksonen 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 to earn the right to face Schwartzman.

  • Sakkari secures WTA Finals slot after progressing to Kremlin Cup quarters Sakkari secures WTA Finals slot after progressing to Kremlin Cup quarters

    Maria Sakkari secured her place at this year's WTA Finals by progressing to the last eight of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

    The third seed was on court for just 34 minutes on Thursday as last-16 opponent Anna Kalinskaya was forced to retire through injury at 6-2 1-0 down.

    Sakkari has enjoyed a successful year on the WTA circuit, reaching grand slam semi-finals for the first time in her career at the French Open and US Open.

    Through to the quarter-finals in the Russian capital, where she will play Simona Halep, the 26-year-old becomes the first Greek woman to qualify for the year-end WTA Finals in Mexico.

    Eighth seed Halep beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 7-6 (7-4), while world number 35 Marketa Vondrousova also prevailed in straight sets against Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko.

    Elsewhere, Ostrava Open champion Anett Kontaveit is through to her eighth quarter-final of 2021 after defeating Andrea Petkovic 6-1 6-4.

    Meanwhile, at the Tenerife Open, fourth seed Camila Giorgi enjoyed a commanding 6-1 6-2 victory over Montenegro's Danka Kovinic.

    However, there was no joy for seventh seed Clara Tauson as the Danish teenager went down 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-4 against China's Saisai Zheng.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.