Rio De Janeiro: Tennis world number two Andy Murray has said he is fit for the Rio Olympic Games following several high profile withdrawals three days ahead of the Games’ opening. The British three-time Grand Slam winner remains in the men’s singles main draw with world number one Novak Djokovic and Spanish world number five Rafael Nadal, reports Xinhua news agency. Swiss world number four Stan Wawrinka pulled out of the Olympics on Tuesday citing back injury after 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer withdrew with a knee injury.
On Monday, world number 11 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia dropped out of the women’s competition with a left leg injury following Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic’s withdrawal. “I spoke to my doctor and he assured me everything should be OK. Hopefully, I don’t get too many mosquito bites, but I don’t think it’s too bad at this time of the year,” said Murray. “It’s unfortunate with Roger and with Stan. They’re obviously two guys who are great players and capable of winning at events like this, so it’s a great shame they aren’t here.
“But still it’s a pretty strong field. A lot of the top-20 players are here. It’s unfortunate that a few of the top 10 are missing. Some of them are citing Zika as the reason, and there’s a couple of injuries and that is unfortunate,” he added. The 29-year-old will be defending the Olympic title after he won at home four years ago and he tries not to think too much into it. “The only time when defending a title felt a little bit strange to me – or different – was at Wimbledon because you come out and you open the tournament, and there’s this thing about playing the first match on Centre Court.
“But this is totally different conditions, different venue, different country. I’m just trying to treat it as any other tournament and trying to prepare as best I can,” he said. Unlike the previous Olympics, Rio will not offer ranking points. The change did not put a dent on Murray’s determination to play for his country. “The whole atmosphere surrounding an Olympics especially is different. You’re around loads of the best athletes in the world.
You really want to perform well and do well for your country and also your teammates. “I remember when I was in Beijing, although I didn’t perform well there, it was just nice being surrounded by the best athletes in your country, seeing them coming back with their medals and having done well feels a lot more like a team environment. I’ve enjoyed that throughout my career and I hope I can perform well here,” he said. –IANS
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