Andy Murray to open Olympic defence against Viktor Troicki

Andy Murray returns the ball during a training session at the Olympic Tennis Center in Rio de Janeiro.  Picture: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

Andy Murray returns the ball during a training session at the Olympic Tennis Center in Rio de Janeiro. Picture: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

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Andy Murray will open the defence of his Olympic singles title against Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in Rio.

The world No 2, who will carry the Great Britain flag at the opening ceremony today, won gold four years ago by beating Novak 
Djokovic and Roger Federer back to back.

This time his path looks significantly less daunting, with Spain’s David Ferrer his potential quarter-final opponent while he is seeded to meet Kei Nishikori in the last four.

There were gasps at the draw in the Olympic 
Tennis Centre when world No 1 Djokovic was paired with former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in round one.

The Argentinian, whose ranking has dropped after virtually two years out with wrist problems, defeated Djokovic to win bronze in London in 2012.

Only five of the world’s top 10 and half of the top 20 have travelled to Rio, but the saving grace is that Djokovic, Murray and Rafael Nadal are all here.

Nadal, who faces Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in round one, has not played since wrist problems forced him out of the French Open more than two months ago but declared himself fit for 
singles and doubles.

Britain’s other entrant in the men’s singles, Kyle Edmund, will take on Australia’s Jordan Thompson in round one. 
Murray also has high hopes of success in the doubles with brother Jamie and the second seeds will open against Brazilians Thomaz 
Bellucci and Andre Sa.

Serena Williams begins her bid for a fifth Olympic gold medal against Australia’s Daria Gavrilova but there will be no all-Williams final after Venus was also drawn in the top half. The sisters could meet in the last four. British 
No 1 Johanna Konta is seeded tenth and meets world No 290 Stephanie Vogt of Liechtenstein, while Heather Watson will face China’s Peng Shuai. Konta and Watson will team up in the women’s doubles and take on Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic and Aleksandra Krunic in round one.

Play begins tomorrow while the mixed doubles entries will be finalised on 9 August.

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