Andy Murray has revealed that an inspirational chat with his daughter helped fuel his quest for a fourth Olympic medal that would represent the “best achievement” even in his glittering career.
The 34-year-old was convincingly beaten in the third round at Wimbledon earlier this month by Denis Shapovalov after missing much of the past three years through injury and, despite falling outside the world’s top 100, is convinced that he can recapture past Olympic glories in Japan.
Murray is aiming for a third consecutive Olympic singles gold and, having also won silver in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson at London 2012, has set himself the target of another medal.
“That's the goal,” he said. “I'm also in a slightly different position to what I was five years ago when I would have been expected to get one. That's maybe not the case this time around. But for me it would be probably my best achievement after everything that's gone on the last few years.
"I'm motivated for that reason alone. I still believe that I can do that. I know this could be the last one for me. I want to go out there and leave everything out on the court, fight for every single point.”
Murray and his wife Kim have four children under the age of five and he admitted that his Wimbledon experience had caused questions and doubts in his own mind.
"I was very disappointed,” he said. “With each major tournament that passes ... when I'm getting asked questions, a lot of it is always about my future. And also, when I haven't performed as well as I'd like to, you question things, doubt yourself a little bit.
"When I got home the day after my match, my daughter said to me, 'Daddy you're home because you lost another tennis match'. I said to her, 'Yes I did but what do you do when you lose at something?'
"And she said, 'You try and try again'. And I was like, 'Yes, that's what I want to do'. I want to keep playing because I enjoy it. I still think I can play at a high level.”
Murray is pleased with his current physical condition but has been given difficult first round matches, against ninth seed and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime in singles and against second-seeded French pair Pierre Hugues-Herbert and Nicolas Mahut alongside Joe Salisburyin doubles. Murray said that his past Olympic successes “sit right there next to Wimbldeon titles for me” in his career highlights and he will form part of a six strong British tennis team after Dan Evans and Johanna Konta were ruled out following positive Covid-19 tests.