Murray wins his opening match at Olympics
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) Andy Murray seems energized at the Olympics, just weeks after shedding tears following his loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final.
Murray said he overcame that disappointment, pumped himself up for the Olympic tournament at the same venue and trained well in the week before they began. One of his sparring partners was Stanislas Wawrinka, whom he beat 6-3, 6-3 in the first round at the All England Club on Sunday.
In the stands was Roger Federer, who was there to cheer Wawrinka after he teamed with his Swiss compatriot to win a gold medal in doubles at the Beijing Olympics four years ago.
"It was the first time I've ever played in front of Roger, apart from when I've been on the other side of the net from him," said Murray, who is the No. 3 seed at the Olympics. "Roger himself will tell you that when he plays, when someone like Rod Laver or (Pete) Sampras, (Bjorn) Borg, those sort of guys are watching you, it makes it a bit more of an occasion, makes it a bit more special. ... It was just nice to see him watching."
Murray acknowledged it may have been hard for fans to get behind him in the past because of his glum demeanor on the court, but he said he has been received more warmly since his stellar Wimbledon performance and his emotional remarks after the loss to Federer. He said that, in turn, has boosted his confidence at the Olympics.
"After the final, it was different to what I'd experienced before, the support from friends, family, just people I bump into in the street, politicians, celebrities," he said. "I wanted to get back on the practice court straight away, back in the gym, get myself ready for this tournament because I want to do my best. I want to achieve everything that I can."
The home crowd roared when Murray, a native of Scotland, walked onto Centre Court, and it did so again when he broke Wawrinka's serve with a delicately placed backhand down the line while up 4-3 in the first set.
Murray, who lost in the first round in Beijing in 2008, has had a mixed relationship with the British media and public, facing ever more scrutiny when Wimbledon rolls around each year because no British man has won the title since Fred Perry in 1936. He appeared at ease as an Olympic athlete, facing a different kind of pressure from that Grand Slam event.
"The last stage of Wimbledon, I've been the last Brit for the last few years. There's a lot of focus just on you," he said. "Whereas when you're playing now in an Olympics, that's not the case. There's so many great athletes, so many sports going on just now, it's more the motivation to want to be part of, that you want to help the medal count if you can, and give yourself the best chance of doing that."