© Ella Ling

Andy Murray - defeat

The Olympics prevented Murray "going into decline"


Annabel Croft has told The Tennis Space that the busy schedule this summer, with the Olympics coming so soon after the Wimbledon Championships, has meant that Andy Murray has “avoided going into decline”. Murray has struggled after losing previous grand slam finals but Croft argued that the Scot, the runner-up to Roger FedererĀ in last month’s Wimbledon final, seemsĀ to be “motivated and composed – he’s the sort of player who needs a carrot”.

Croft on how the Olympics have helped Murray, who will play for a medal after his victory over Spain’s Nicolas Almagro took him into the semi-finals: “I think it’s been helpful for him that the Olympics has come so soon after Wimbledon as that has meant that he’s avoided going into decline. That has happened before after his defeats in grand slam finals but it hasn’t happened this time. He’s the sort of player who needs a carrot. He needs something to work for. He’s been saying that he’s extremely motivated. He seems more composed. He said the other day that he hasn’t always been easy to like, but that he received so many messages of support after Wimbledon, from members of the public, from celebrities,politicians and other sportsmen, and that has given him extra motivation to play well.”

Croft on Murray’s form: “He’s been hitting the ball so well. I’ve watched both Djokovic and Murray during this tournament and the ball coming off Murray’s racket is heavier than the one coming off Djokovic’s. If Murray could win the Olympics that would be a fantastic achievement.”