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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool British tennis players Laura Robson, from left, Anne Keothavong, Andy Murray and Jamie Murray pose for photos with the Olympic rings at the Athletes' Village.
# London 2012
Murray prepares for Olympic return to Wimbledon
“I laugh a lot — just not in front of you guys,” Murray said. “The questions just are not that funny.”

TWO DAYS AFTER losing in the Wimbledon final, Andy Murray walked back out on to Centre Court to reflect.

It was a chance for him to dwell on falling short again in a Grand Slam final, but also to prepare himself for a quick return to action at the All England Club for the Olympics.

“I sat for a few minutes,” said Murray, who had returned to Wimbledon to collect some of his belongings. “I was just thinking a little bit about the match and thinking about what it was going to be like playing at the Olympics because it’s changed.

“The whole venue changed so quickly after the tournament, they had all the London 2012 backdrops on the back of the court.”

Coping with the pressure of the Olympics shouldn’t be tough for Murray. After all, he was burdened with the expectations of the nation earlier this month when he became the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final since 1938. But there was no first British men’s champion since Fred Perry in 1936, with Murray losing to Roger Federer 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Renowned for his dour demeanor, Murray surprised the nation by weeping on court after the setback. The tears didn’t stop then as he struggled to cope with the mental anguish. He didn’t even hit a ball for five days.

“I cried a lot, that was the first part. Then I just started sort of doing other things to try and take (my) mind off it,” Murray said. “I went go-karting with my friends, normal stuff. I went to a comedy show. I went to Battersea Dogs Home — did a few different things then started training again. And that’s when you stop thinking about the past and you concentrate a bit more on the future.”

While insisting that laughter helps him deal with high-profile losses, Murray appeared glum as he spoke to reporters next to the Olympic Park yesterday.

“I laugh a lot — just not in front of you guys,” Murray said. “The questions just are not that funny.”

And Murray maintains that returning to Wimbledon will “give me an extra motivation. I can’t see it as being a negative.”

“The guys around me have helped and been positive,” the 25-year-old Scot said. “And obviously with this kind of competition coming up so soon afterwards I did need make sure I get over it quickly because I want to do well here.”

Because in Beijing it didn’t go so well four years ago, losing in the first round of the singles tournament.

“I was really disappointed at myself, so I don’t want to let this chance slip by,” Murray said. “I want to make sure I prepare properly so I give myself the best chance to win a medal because I know how much it meant to the other tennis players winning bronze, silver or gold.”

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Murray will have two chances to win a medal because he will also be playing doubles alongside his brother, Jamie. The pair lost in the second round four years ago.

“If I could win a gold medal or Grand Slam I’d take a gold medal, especially here in your home Olympics,” the 26-year-old Jamie Murray said.

Although Andy Murray may not feel the same way, still the Olympics are something special.

“If you lose in the semifinal of a Grand Slam, people will criticise you and you’ll always be disappointed,” Murray said. “But (Novak) Djokovic won a bronze at the last Olympics and was in tears on the podium. It means a lot to the players … I get more emotional playing for Great Britain than I do playing in a regular tennis tournament.”

- Rob Harris

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