Rio 2016: How will Team GB fare in Tennis?

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With the Olympics in Rio just around the corner, LWOS takes a look at how team GB may fare in tennis.

Singles

With the current reigning Gold medalist, and 2013 & 2016 Wimbledon champion, on the team in the form of Andy Murray, there is a very good chance of team GB retaining the Gold won four years ago.

As other members of the top echelons of the ATP tour have withdrawn through injury, or fear of the Zika virus, the potential fly in the ointment for Murray is his current nemesis Novak Djokovic.

Moving away from the obvious favourite, team GB has another singles player on the ATP side.

Kyle Edmund will be taking part in the Olympics for the very first time. At the age of 21, the young Brit has been proving his mettle recently. Against Serbia in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Davis Cup, Edmund took on the lead role.

Murray was absent from the court, taking a break after winning Wimbledon for the second time, but the British number one flew out to support the team.

Edmund proved that he can cut the mustard, as the Serbs were without their top two players. The Brit won both his singles rubbers helping GB to another semifinal.

Edmund is likely to be in the same half of the draw as Djokovic, as if it follows the 2012 draw, there will be a Brit in each half.

The young Brit could do well in the event with lots of the top players already withdrawing, however Edmund is unlikely to progress to the medal matches.

On the ladies’ side, GB has sent two players–Johanna Konta & Heather Watson. Konta is currently ranked 13th in the world. The British number one should progress towards the latter stages of the tournament, although medalling may just be a step too far.

Watson, as the British number two, has won a title on the WTA this year (as has Konta), however, like Edmund, reaching the medal matches could be just a little too far.

Men’s Doubles

GB has sent two teams for the men’s doubles. Only one team is made up of doubles specialists.

Jamie Murray will play the doubles with younger brother Andy. They are the second seeds. Although the younger Murray does not play doubles often, when teaming up with Jamie the brothers are a formidable force.

Having played three of the four doubles ties in the 2015 Davis Cup title run, the brothers do play well together. They did not lose in any of those ties, plus the first round in 2016. This makes the Murray brothers a good call for the Gold medal.

Dom Inglot & Colin Fleming are the other men’s team. Inglot has been a fixture of the Davis Cup team throughout the last couple of years. Playing in three ties, Inglot teamed with Jamie Murray in Serbia and won his first rubber. In the previous rubbers he found himself against the Bryan Brothers.

Like Edmund, Inglot and Fleming will be in the opposite side of the draw to the Murray brothers. The Brits could go deep into the event as both are good doubles players in their own right.

On the women’s side, the Brits only have one pairing–Konta & Watson. As neither play doubles together regularly, it is going to be tricky for them to medal, but not impossible.

Mixed doubles

GB have a number of combinations that they could enter into the mixed. Obviously the ladies in the partnership can only be Konta & Watson. The real “dilemma”, if you can call it that, is with the male part.

Depending on how many teams are allowed by the IOC will depend on which combination the Brits enter.

Jamie Murray, being the highest ranked doubles player, is likely to be the player to partner Konta–especially if brother Andy is going deep in the singles and the brothers are still in the doubles. However, if the brothers go out early in the doubles, or Andy fails to reach the final rounds of the singles, the younger brother could chose to play the mixed.

Watson is another option for the mixed, with again either Jamie, Andy, or even Inglot or Fleming. The combinations are likely to all stem on Andy and which events he chooses to participate in. At the last Olympics in 2012, the younger Murray played all three of the events.

Inglot is the second highest ranked doubles player, so is a valid option to play with Watson. Watson won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon, defeating seeded players along the way. This will be a boost to her confidence going into the mixed doubles at Rio, and could be the player Jamie Murray chooses to play with.

With both brothers playing events, there is no reason to suggest that both brothers can’t win doubles Gold in Rio. Or if Andy Murray chooses to play all three, that he can’t win triple Gold.

Whoever the mixed doubles players are, GB appear to have a great shot at more than one Gold medal in Tennis.