ANDY Murray is chasing a dream double this summer – his first Wimbledon title and an Olympic gold medal for Great Britain.
The world No 4 considers the Olympic tennis tournament, which this summer will be held at SW19, to be tennis’s fifth Grand Slam and he is relishing the opportunity of competing at London 2012.
Murray was a first-round loser in the men’s singles competition at the Beijing Olympics, but the experience in 2008 left a lasting impression on him.
“This summer coming up is going to be huge. Wimbledon and the Olympics would be two of my major goals,” Murray said. “At the Olympics, the feeling you have is completely different. You feel like you are playing for other people – for your country.
“A lot of times when you are on the tour you are playing for yourself and the guys you work with. When I played in Beijing, I didn’t play well, but it was one of the best experiences I have had as an athlete, being around all the top athletes in the world.
“In the village, you see a chart on the wall of all the medals we have won. It would be nice to be part of that, too. Tennis at the Olympics has become a big deal. Everybody plays it now, whereas ten-15 years ago people were skipping the Olympics. It’s a bit like the Slams. No-one skips the Australian Open anymore.”
Asked whether he considers it to be the fifth Grand Slam, Murray added: “I think so. I have only played in it once and it was very important to me. I was very nervous before I played, which tells you something of the significance of the competition.
“Everybody sees it is a big deal. You see the emotion of the guys. Novak Djokovic won a bronze medal at the last Olympics and it was a huge deal for him. Usually you would be disappointed losing a semi-final, but if you come away from the Olympics with a bronze medal it is celebrated.”
Murray has confirmed he will defend his AEGON Championships title having committed to playing at Queen’s Club for the next five years, but his focus now switches to the clay-court season and working with coach Ivan Lendl, a three-time French Open champion, to prepare for his assault on the Roland Garros title.
“He is confident in the way my game matches up against the other guys on the surface,” said Murray, who reached the semi-finals last year. “My plan is to play Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He will be there for both and we’ll work on things he has seen in my game that can improve on clay before the French Open.
“It is about making sure I am in good shape, getting the tactics right and being patient, because it is a tough surface to play on.”