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Andy Murray’s bid for fourth Olympic medal ends in doubles defeat

Croatian duo Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig advanced to the quarter-finals.

Andy Murray’s bid for a fourth Olympic medal ended with a painful defeat in the men’s doubles alongside Joe Salisbury in the quarter-finals in Tokyo.

The pair had raised expectations with two fine performances to make the last eight and led Croatian duo Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig by a set and a break.

They had a point to make it 5-2 but Cilic and Dodig stepped up their level, broke the Murray serve and prevailed in a deciding tie-break to win 4-6 7-6 (2) 10-7.

It is they who are now guaranteed to play for a medal, and the disappointment for Murray and Salisbury was obvious.

“It’s always tough when you lose matches but especially here, a chance of getting to the semi-finals and a chance of winning a medal,” said Salisbury. “And the situation we were in, we were a set and a break up and we were playing well, so it’s very tough.”

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Murray is the only tennis player ever to win successive gold medals, and he also has a silver in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson from London.

Given his ongoing struggles to stay fit, which included pulling out of the singles here with a thigh strain, it seems highly unlikely he will compete at a fifth Games in Paris in three years’ time.

“I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to play again,” he said. “I’ve loved every minute of playing in the Olympics. I wish that today could have gone differently.

“I had another chance with Joe to win a medal, we were so close, and that’s what’s disappointing. I would like to have done some stuff differently in the match to try to help out more.”

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Murray will now head home for more rest and recovery but is hopeful of being fit for the US Open, starting on August 30.

He said: “I’ll see how the injury heals. That’s what will dictate it. I’m not going to rush something if it’s not there.

“My team think I should be OK to play the US Open judging by how I felt in matches here. It’s not as physical as singles but there’s a lot of explosive movements and my leg felt fine.”

 

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