London 2012 Olympics: Third seed Andy Murray says gold medal would be ‘the pinnacle’
ANDY Murray is Britain’s only seeded player for the Olympic tennis tournament at Wimbledon, which begins on Saturday.
In the absence of the injured Rafael Nadal, the gold medallist in Beijing four years ago, Wimbledon finalist Murray is seeded third for the men’s singles behind world No 1 Roger Federer, of Switzerland, and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.
David Ferrer, the leading Spaniard in Nadal’s absence, is fourth, with France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fifth, while Czech Tomas Berdych, Serb Janko Tipsarevic and Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro make up the top eight.
Unlike at the grand slams, where there are 32 seeds in a 128-strong field, the Olympic singles tournament is a 64-man field featuring 16 seeds.
World No 1 Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, heads the seedings for the women’s singles with Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska second, followed by Russian Maria Sharapova and Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, of the US.
The men’s doubles field is headed by American twins Bob and Mike Bryan, with defending champions Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka seeded sixth.
Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, of the US, top the standings in the women’s doubles but their countrywomen Venus and Serena Williams, the Beijing gold medallists and Wimbledon champions, are unseeded.
The draw for the singles and doubles takes place this morning, while the entries for the mixed doubles will be decided over the weekend, with the draw taking place on Tuesday.
Murray, meanwhile, believes winning an Olympic gold medal is “the pinnacle in any sport”.
He made his Olympic debut in Beijing four years ago but has since admitted he got too caught up in the occasion and slumped to a first-round defeat by Lu Yen-hsun, before losing in the second round of the doubles with brother Jamie.
The pair will attempt to do better this time around, while Murray is also determined to ensure he has a long run in the singles, less than a month after reaching his first Wimbledon final.
The 25-year-old said: “In terms of achievement, I think winning a gold medal is the pinnacle in any sport and it would be right up there with anything I have done so far.”
The eight-strong British tennis team were part of Team GB’s welcome ceremony at the Olympic Village on Tuesday and they have been enjoying the experience of mixing with stars from other sports.
Murray earned brownie points from girlfriend Kim Sears for his Olympic mingling, the Scot saying: “I met William Fox-Pitt. My girlfriend was very happy about that. She loves horses.”
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