British Olympic Mixed Doubles Selection Becomes a Feud
epa03332410 Andy Murray of Britain returns to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in their third round match during the London 2012 Olympic Games Tennis competition in Wimbledon, Greater London, Britain, 01 August 2012. EPA/ANDY RAIN |
The Olympic mixed doubles event caused more controversy and ill feeling in the British camp as Andy Murray opted to play alongside Laura Robson rather than the higher ranked Heather Watson.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Watson won the doubles title at the WTA’s Stanford Classic alongside New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic and the 20 year-old Bollettieri Academy graduate from the Channel Island of Guernsey is Britain’s top ranked female player in both singles and doubles. Robson, aged 18, is ranked third and sixth respectively.
Watson, unhappy following her singles exit at the hands of Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, said: I thought I might have deserved a spot, especially as I just won a tournament. I’m just upset that I didn’t get picked, but there’s not much else I can do about it now. I wanted the Olympics to go on.
The selection decision seemed to be made by Murray after discussions with Team GB officials including his mother Judy who captains Watson and Robson in the Fed Cup. Murray and Robson did play Mixed Doubles together at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia where they reached the final two and a half years ago.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try and win a medal at your home Games, said Murray. I want to give myself the best chance at that, which is why I wanted to play mixed.
I listened to what the coaches on the team had to say. The decision was made because that’s what we felt was the best to try and win a medal. Heather played some good doubles this year so it’s tough on her but tough decisions have to be made sometimes.
Robson was another singles casualty, putting on a highly creditable performance before falling to third seeded Maria Sharapova. I’m fairly decent at doubles and Andy is obviously one of the best returners in the world, so we’ve definitely got a chance, she said looking forward to their meeting with the Czech pairing of Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka.
As Lleyton Hewitt revealed his plans to target a record 5th Aegon Championships title at The Queen’s Club before retiring in Melbourne next January, the Tennis Podcast released a special edition of the show to celebrate the Australian’s career.
Milos Raonic sealed his debut with a 19th ace to see off Russian qualifier Alexander Kuznetsov 6-7(5), 6-1, 7-5. The Canadian second seed needed a comeback after losing the opening set to the No. 88 before taking control in the second set and keeping up the pressure in the third to book into the second round.