25 Jul 2012

Team GB talk Olympic tennis


NEWS ARTICLE

Photo: Paul ZimmerRoss Hutchins (GBR) and Andy Murray (GBR)

Team GB look ahead to the Olympic Tennis Event during a press conference at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

Andy Murray

On what winning a gold medal would mean:

"Winning a gold medal is the pinnacle of sport so it would be right up there with what I have done so far."

On playing as part of Team GB on home soil:

"I think there's always pressure on a player at Wimbledon but when you're playing in front of a home crowd I think everyone would agree you up your game. It helps in all sports to have the crowd behind you. Sometimes when you are struggling it can lift your game. I've played some of my best tennis at Wimbledon and I've always enjoyed it.

On his memories of the Olympic Games:

"I always remember watching Steve Backley, and Michael Johnson is someone I remember watching a lot when I was growing up. I remember in Beijing watching Usain Bolt and seeing what he did there - it was pretty amazing, how far he won by and what he did throughout the Games."

On what it's like staying in the Olympic Village:

"I met William Fox-Pitt - my girlfriend was very happy about that, she loves horses. I also met Anthony Joshua, a super-heavyweight boxer, so for me that was cool, we chatted a bit about boxing. We also sat amongst the handball team. For me it wasn't specific people that I wanted to seek out and meet, it was just nice speaking to all sorts of different athletes from all of the sports."

Heather Watson

On getting a place in the women's singles event:

"I’m so excited. To have the opportunity to play in the singles as well and to be back on the Wimbledon grass, which I’m really enjoying at the moment, hopefully it goes well."

On coming back from an ankle injury:

"At the beginning of the year it was really tough for me - I had my ankle injury and I just wasn’t really enjoying tennis and playing because I wasn’t winning any matches. It was probably the worst I have been in my tennis career so to be here now, climbing the ladder and playing well again, I’m just really happy and I couldn’t hope for anything more."

Elena Baltacha

On advice her father, football bronze medallist Sergei Baltacha, has given her:

"He said it was the most amazing experience he has ever had in his life. He won bronze and they beat Yugoslavia to win the medal. Obviously he showed me lots of pictures but he just said it was unbelievable to be part of something that big and he’s just so proud that I managed to get my spot here."

"My mum’s going to be here but my dad is just going to stay at home and follow it on the TV, but basically my dad said, ‘Try and experience everything that you can and it will be something that will stay with you forever’."

Jamie Murray

On being in the Olympic Village:

"Yesterday, we all had dinner in the Village with the other members of Team GB. There are so many different athletes covering so many different sports it's totally unique for us. Normally we see the same faces every week, I'm bored of seeing them and I'm sure they are bored of seeing us as well, so it's nice to be around so many different athletes and learn from them."

On playing doubles with Andy:

"I like to be in charge but I don't know whether he would listen to me! We have probably played five or six tournaments together for the last two or three years and I enjoy playing with him, but I don't know whether he enjoys playing with me. To be able to play at a home Olympics with your brother is something very special."

Anne Keothavong

On taking part in an Olympic Games on home soil:

"When it was confirmed that I would be part of this British team I was over the moon. This is something that I think all of us have worked so hard towards and wanted to be part of."

"For me growing up in Hackney (east London, the borough in which Olympic Park is situated) and seeing all the changes there - that’s something really special. Hopefully there will be some legacy there too."

"My first Olympics, there’s a lot to take in, but it has been great meeting some of the athletes from the other sports and hopefully we can all do well."

Colin Fleming

On whether playing doubles with a regular partner - Ross Hutchins - is an advantage:

"It will be a little bit of an advantage that Ross and I have been playing together for the best part of 18 months now, but at the same time it doesn’t guarantee us a win in any match against a pair that haven't been doing that because there so many good players playing together. You see, week in week out in doubles, that scratch teams come together and do well. In any one-off event any team can play well but I feel like we are in a better position having worked together."

On their chances in the Games:

"I don't think we are going to be seeded in the draw so we are obviously not one of the favourites. Our results since we have played together show that if we play our best we can compete and we have had some wins against some of the top players."

"We saw what our good friend Jonny Marray and Frederik Nielsen did a few weeks ago (winning the men's doubles at Wimbledon), it's a really special achievement. I'm not saying anyone can do it but it does show you that if you play well on a surface that we are used to playing well on we are a match for anyone."

Ross Hutchins

On the condition of courts at Wimbledon:

"I heard the courts were playing a little bit slower last week because the grass was a little bit longer, but I went on the match courts yesterday with Andy and they were normal speed as the Championships were. Not too slick, not quite like a hard court, and now they are coming up to normal length so are the same as they were a few weeks ago."

Laura Robson

On which of Team GB's tennis players have met the most famous athletes in the Olympic Village:

"I think Heather has done well!"

On staying in the Olympic Village:

"It's been great in the Village with all the other athletes, there's a lounge with pool tables, a Playstation. We've been socialising a little bit but definitely focusing on training, that's what's most important."

Team leader Paul Hutchins

On Britain's tennis squad:

"I'm really pleased that we've got a good team. I'm really pleased that we are representing in singles and doubles and it would be really good in future, in Rio, to get two or three of the men in the top 70, which I think by Rio we will do. I'm really hopeful that we can all over-perform our normal standard and once you over-perform you can easily start to look at a medal situation."

On what the Olympic Games will do for British tennis:

"I think it's a boost. It will definitely be a plus factor to helping British tennis, which is what we're all about."




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