Andy Murray faces wait on Olympic doubles but Raducanu turns down place

Andy Murray faces wait on Olympic doubles but Raducanu turns down place

Andy Murray faces an uncertain wait to see if he will make the cut for the Olympic doubles draw alongside Dan Evans as he deliberates over attending his fifth and final Olympic Games in Paris.

Emma Raducanu, meanwhile, has opted out of competing at the Olympics despite also being offered one of the Olympic quota places. Katie Boulter will be the sole women’s singles selection.

On Sunday the LTA announced its selections for Great Britain’s Olympic teams, with Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper, Dan Evans and Murray chosen for the men’s singles team. While the first three singles players qualified through their rankings, Murray, a three-time grand slam champion and two-time Olympic singles gold medallist, secured his singles berth through one of the quota places available to grand slam champions and Olympic gold medallists.

In Great Britain’s doubles nominations, Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski have been selected as a doubles team while Murray and Evans have been nominated but their participation will depend on whether their combined ranking will allow them to make the cut for the draw. The nominated women’s doubles pairings of Boulter and Heather Watson plus Harriet Dart and Maia Lumsden will also have to wait and see if their rankings allow them to make the draw.

Although Murray’s singles placement has been secured, he has stated numerous times that he would prefer to compete in Paris only if he has a realistic shot at winning a medal. With his current difficult singles form and the Olympic tournament being played on the red clay of Roland Garros, it is clear the 37-year-old has a better chance in doubles.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure,” said Murray on Sunday. “It depends a little bit physically how I’m doing and a bit how the next few weeks ago as well. My plan just now is to play but it’s not straightforward.”

For much of this year, it seemed likely that Great Britain would be able to send two certain men’s doubles teams, since doubles players ranked inside the top 10 are able to choose any partner as long as they are inside the top 400. Both Salisbury and Skupski had been ranked inside the top 10 until last Monday, when Skupski fell to No 12 in the ATP doubles rankings. These rankings are used to determine the Olympic entry lists.

The LTA had been considering pairing Salisbury with Murray and Skupski with Evans in the event that Skupski had remained inside the top 10, but they eventually had to opt for different pairings. Iain Bates, Great Britain’s tennis Olympic team leader, said the LTA remains confident that Murray and Evans will make the cut, particularly since the extremely complicated Olympic qualification rules favour singles players.

The Olympic qualification rules have also played a significant role in the women’s nominations and Raducanu’s omission from the team. As Raducanu’s current ranking of No 209 would not allow her direct entry for the main draw, the 2021 US Open champion was also reliant on a quota place to compete in singles.

There are only two quota places available in each draw, and if three or more champions apply, the players with more major titles or Olympic gold medals have first refusal. It seemed unlikely that Raducanu would receive a quota place with Naomi Osaka, a four-time grand slam champion, Angelique Kerber, a three-time grand slam champion, and Caroline Wozniacki all ranked outside the top 100 and ahead of her in the list. After being unexpectedly offered a place at the last moment, Raducanu opted to turn it down. After her defeat to Katie Boulter in Nottingham, Raducanu cited the physical risks of changing surfaces from grass to clay so soon after Wimbledon.

“For me it was pretty clear,” said Raducanu. “I am very single-minded and I do things my own way and in my own time whenever I want, not in a diva way, but just prioritising my body and my health because I know if I am fit and giving my 100 per cent I know that great things are coming. I just don’t think there is any need to put any additional stress on my body or any risk, especially with my history.