Team GB tennis stars Heather Watson and Andy Murray have begun preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The 29-year-old Watson is Britain’s only medal hope in the women’s tennis tournament at Tokyo 2020. Compatriot Johanna Konta announced yesterday she had been forced to withdraw from the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, leaving Watson as the sole Team GB representative.
Watson will still be joined in Tokyo by a number of male teammates, including three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, Joe Salisbury, Dan Evans and Neal Skupski. As shown in a video shared by the Lawn Tennis Association, Watson and Murray are already training together in preparation.
In the clip shared on Twitter, Watson and Murray are shown practicing their serves and returns side-by-side. The caption reads: “Olympic preparations begin for Andy Murray and Heather Watson. Next stop Tokyo 2020 for Team GB.”
Following Konta’s withdrawal, Watson will now just be competing in the women’s singles tournament at Tokyo 2020. She played in the singles and the doubles at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Watson and Murray also played together in the mixed doubles at Rio 2016, reaching the quarter-final stage. The mixed doubles pairing for Tokyo 2020 is yet to be confirmed.
Watson shared her excitement about Tokyo 2020 after it was announced she had been selected to Team GB. She posted on Twitter: “Competing in the Olympics has always been one of my biggest goals in my career & I will now be competing in my 3rd Olympic Games in Tokyo let’s goooooo.”
The 34-year-old Murray is bidding for his third Olympic gold in the men’s singles tournament, previously triumphing at London 2012 and Rio 2016. He also earned a silver medal alongside Laura Robson in the mixed doubles at London 2012.
The tennis competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics gets underway on July 24th and runs until August 1st. It will be held at the Ariake Tennis Park.
Key contenders for the women’s tennis tournament include world number one and two-time Grand Slam winner Ashleigh Barty, home favourite and four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, and Rio 2016 silver medallist Angelique Kerber.
Monica Puig, the shock Olympic champion at Rio 2016, will not be in Tokyo to defend her title after undergoing shoulder surgery last month. Twenty-three time Grand Slam winner and four-time Olympic gold medallist Serena Williams will also be absent, while Simona Halep is injured.News Now - Sport News