Belfast Telegraph

Andy Murray ready for Olympics after karting and puppies cures Wimbledon blues

By Paul Newman

Laughter is not a characteristic you would immediately associate with Andy Murray but as the 25-year-old Scot told journalists at British team headquarters near London's Olympic Park yesterday: "I laugh a lot – just not in front of you guys. Your questions normally aren't that funny. I go to quite a lot of comedy shows and stand-up comedy. Laughing is normally the best way to get over most things."

Comedy has played its part as Murray has got over the disappointment of his defeat by Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final two weekends ago and refocused on the Olympics, which begins at the All England Club in seven days' time.

"I cried a lot – that was the first part," Murray said with a smile when asked how he had coped in the days immediately after Wimbledon. "Then I just started doing other things to take my mind off it. I went go-karting, to a comedy show, to Battersea Dogs Home. Then I started training again. That's normally when you stop thinking about the past and concentrate more on the future."

Returning to Wimbledon two days after his defeat in the final also played a part. "I went back to pick up a couple of bags," he said. "Then I went back on Centre Court and just sat there for a little while. I was thinking a little bit about the match and then thinking a bit about what it was going to be like at the Olympics.

"The whole venue changed so quickly after the tournament. They already had all the London 2012 backdrops up at the back of the court. It actually looks quite different with all the purple round it. It maybe got my mind to looking forward."

After taking five days off, Murray has been back on the practice court since last weekend. "The Wimbledon final was a tough loss," he said. "I struggled for a couple of days. It wasn't that easy. But I've practised well the last few days. The guys around me have helped and have been positive. Obviously with this competition coming up so soon afterwards I need to get over it quickly because I want to do well here.

"I didn't do so well in Beijing. I lost in the first round and I was really disappointed, so I don't want this to slip by. I want to make sure I've prepared properly and given myself the best chance to win a medal."

Murray was joined at the press conference by his brother Jamie, Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Laura Robson and Paul Hutchins, the British team manager. Heather Watson, Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, the other members of the home team, are currently playing in the United States.

Some members of the team will spend time in the Olympic Village early next week, but during the Games they will be based in the Wimbledon area. The draw for the tournament will be made on Thursday and once the first day's schedule is announced, decisions will be made as to who will take part in Friday's opening ceremony. With the tennis tournament starting the following day, the British team have asked to play their opening matches either late on Saturday or on Sunday, to enable them to take part in the ceremony the previous evening.

Baltacha, whose father won a football bronze medal in the 1980 Games, carried the Olympic torch in Kent on Thursday. "It was absolutely unbelievable," she said. "I went through the whole day without crying.But once I saw the lady running round the corner and lighting up my flame, that was it. I broke down in tears."

Belfast Telegraph


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