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Andy Murray to carry Great Britain flag in Rio

August 4, 2016

Andy Murray has been chosen as the flag bearer for the Great Britain team at the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Rio.

The Wimbledon and Olympic champion will have the honour of leading out the team at the Maracana Stadium on Friday night, being chosen ahead of cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins and boxer Nicola Adams.

A delighted Murray said: "This is my third Olympic Games and it is a very special competition for me. I obviously have great memories of London and I am 100 per cent focused on winning here in Rio. The privilege of being the flag bearer is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life and will certainly be one of the highlights of my career.

"I hope to do the team proud on Friday and wish all of the British athletes the best of luck for the Games ahead."

It will be the first time a tennis player has led out the British team, and shows what high esteem Murray is held in among his fellow British Olympians, many of whom will also be defending Olympic titles.

Murray's victory in 2012, when he thrashed Roger Federer in straight sets, helped bury the memory of his Wimbledon defeat against the Swiss legend a month earlier, and was the start of a stellar year in which he won the US Open and Wimbledon.

Fans booking corporate hospitality for the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in November will be keen to see if the return of Ivan Lendl as coach and a second Wimbledon title will herald another glorious year for the Scot. The end-of-year spectacular is one of the very few notable tennis tournaments in which Murray is yet to make an impact.

Murray will not have to face Federer this time, or his compatriot Stan Wawrinka, but while neither Swiss star will be fit, Rafael Nadal will be back after being absent from Wimbledon with a wrist problem. Having also missed the London Olympics with injury, he will be bidding to regain the title he secured in 2008.

As ever, the biggest challenge will come from Novak Djokovic, who was Serbia's flag bearer in London but failed to win a medal after Murray beat him in the semi-final and Juan Martin del Potro won the bronze medal match.

The tournament may have an impact on qualifying for the World Tour Finals, as ranking points are available for the Olympic tournament.

As well as taking part in the singles, Andy Murray will be joining his brother Jamie in the doubles. The Murray brothers will be seeking to win Great Britain's first doubles gold since the sport returned to the Olympics. Andy Murray himself won silver alongside Laura Robson in the mixed doubles four years ago, while Tim Henman and Neil Broad won silver in the men's doubles in 1996.

Hopes of a first British medal in the women's singles are likely to rest with Johanna Konta. She is seeded tenth, four places above her WTA ranking.

By Alex Brundell 

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