Nadal withdrawal boosts Murray’s chances of Olympic glory
Fresh from his first ever appearance in a Wimbledon final, Andy Murray is hoping to go one better on home soil in this summer’s Olympics, and has very real chances of doing so.
Murray played some of the finest and most resilient tennis of his career earlier in the month, when only Roger Federer was able to prevent him from claiming a first Grand Slam title.
He will hope to replicate that sort of form in this summer’s Games, which will also be held at the All England Club, and would be delighted to repeat the success of 104 years ago, the last time Wimbledon hosted Olympic tennis.
Every gold medal was claimed by Great Britain in that 1908 renewal, and these were supplemented by a smattering of silver and bronze medals too.
Whilst the ambitions of Team GB will not be quite so lofty this time round meanwhile, everything seems to be in place for Murray to launch a serious bid for the gold.
His own superb recent displays of course stand him in good stead, but so too does the withdrawal of defending Olympic champion Rafael Nadal, who is suffering from tendinitis in his knee.
“It is one of the saddest moments of my career,” the 11-time Grand Slam champion said in a statement declaring his omission from the tournament.
Nadal was superb in landing the gold medal at Beijing in 2008, but with the inability to defend his crown, the door is well and truly open for Murray to capitalise.
That said, the man who conquered him at SW19 earlier this month could stand in his way, with Federer favourite to secure the only major title he has yet to land.
Federer did victor in the men’s doubles at Beijing four years ago, but singles triumph at London 2012 would see him complete the ‘Golden Slam,’ and further cement his legacy as an all-time tennis great.