"I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from singles and focus on playing doubles..." Andy Murray had commented when he had another flare-up of injury suffering a minor thigh strain in Tokyo. It might have seemed unreal that he was feeling great going into the Olympics but then the thigh injury.
Murray can look back about three months ago when he was playing the Miami Open. He had woken in the middle of the night in pain, to have suffered from a groin pull. "It has been extremely frustrating..." The Brit had emotionally said after the surprise injury.
But travelling to Tokyo and competing might have made a lasting point for Murray. He had said that the Olympics proved to be "some of the best memories of my life." Despite his withdrawal from playing singles and sticking with doubles, his partnering with Joe Salisbury did stretch out to the quarterfinals in Tokyo.
They were outplayed in three sets by the team of Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig. Murray was satisfied to have gone that distance taking into account the history of his injuries in the past years or so. He's had two hip surgeries with rehabbing and recuperating being difficult.
He's glad to have gone through with his 4th Olympic Games and still feels bad that he and Joe couldn't have gone deeper in the event. "I feel crushed after today's loss...I wish I could have gone a little better..."
he was apologetic on his social media page. There are many points that might have given Andy a glum farewell to Tokyo. First, it was Murray's thigh injury forcing him to withdraw from singles. The injury came as a surprise being that he felt well enough to compete.
Then it was the idea of only having doubles to play, but at least he was still in the game. The loss in the quarterfinals was another situation that Murray didn't think would happen and that his reign would have ended closer to the finals of the Olympics.
The Brit team of Murray and Salisbury had taken the first set and felt positive that they may have a chance of success. It was the Croatian partnership of Cilic/Dodig when they combined their skills and won the second set, a tiebreak and go on to win the deciding set.
The victory of the Croatians 4-6, 7-6, 10-7 at the quarterfinal continued their trek and ended the Brits competition. Andy Murray's participation at the Olympics has taught him that he can be quite consistent during the Pandemic and still has a part of his game to rely on when his singles play must be halted because of his bodily conditioning.
He has a rich resume as an Olympian with two singles titles in Gold. One with the London 2012 games and the other at Rio in 2016. Andy may not want to acknowledge that his doubles game now is the most secure and can be endured through minor ailments.
It might appear disheartened when he looks back at his two Gold medals both in singles. Murray isn't sure he'll even be able to play in singles again, whether it's the Olympics or a tournament event. He's accomplished what many tennis and non-tennis players have in their athletic careers.
Andy Murray's show at this Olympics is bittersweet and feels as though this might be his finale as an Olympic participant and leaves saying honestly, "I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to play again."