Heather: I'm the best but Murray didn't pick me, he picked Robson instead
22:46 GMT, 31 July 2012
.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;
LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
Andy Murray has moved into ruthless mode in his quest for an Olympic medal, both in his romp through to the third round and his choice of partner for the mixed doubles event that begins on Wednesday.
No sooner had the world No 4 handed out a 6-2, 6-4 beating to old adversary Jarkko Nieminen on Tuesday than it was revealed he was being paired with Laura Robson in a mixed tournament which requires only three victories to get on the podium.
That meant overlooking Heather Watson, who was clearly unhappy with the decision after she lost 6-3, 6-2 last night to Russia’s Maria Kirilenko in singles.
Laying down the law: Murray has selected Robson over Watson
The 20-year-old from Guernsey won the doubles at the WTA Tour event in Stanford, California, two weeks ago and is the British No 1, but that was still not enough to secure her selection.
'I thought I might have deserved a spot, especially as I just won a tournament,' said Watson. 'I'm just upset that I didn’t get picked, but there’s not much else I can do about it now. I wanted the Olympics to go on.’
For a while it seemed that Robson would celebrate her call-up with victory over French Open champion Maria Sharapova in the singles but despite a fine performance before a raucous Centre Court crowd she was edged out 7-6, 6-3.
Watson is ranked No 1 in Britain in both singles and doubles, while Robson is ranked third and sixth respectively, and will have considered herself in pole position to partner her male counterpart.
Yet Murray has plumped for the 18-year-old, and the two of them will face the Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka, once he has completed a repeat of his Wimbledon third round against Marcos Baghdatis.
Wat, no Heather Robson has been selected for the mixed doubles at SW19
While the decision would officially have been made by Paul Hutchins, head of the British Olympic tennis team, it is unthinkable that the pick would have been down to anyone else but Murray.
He has successfully played mixed doubles with Robson before, reaching the final of the Hopman Cup with her in Perth in 2010.
Another attraction is Robson’s excellent left-handed serve and decent hands at the net. With only 16 pairs in the mixed, and him being out of the men’s doubles with brother Jamie, it gives him another medal avenue.
‘It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try and win a medal at your home Games,’ said Murray. ‘I want to give myself the best chance at that, which is why I wanted to play mixed.
‘I listened to what the coaches on the team had to say. The decision was made because that’s what we felt was the best to try and win a medal. Heather played some good doubles this year so it’s tough on her but tough decisions have to be made sometimes.’
No going back! Murray has made the decision and Watson has to live with it
All smiles: Kim Sears watches her boyfriend beating Jarkko Nieminen
Murray looks in very good nick. Cyprus’s Baghdatis will not be easy, and took the 25-year-old Scot to four sets on Wimbledon’s middle Saturday, the match that ended just past the 11pm curfew.
Robson’s contest yesterday was played in a similarly febrile atmosphere to that evening a month ago, this time the soundtrack including Sharapova’s horrible grunt/yelp that is accentuated by the roof being closed.
The young Brit pulled it back from 2-4 down in the first set and edged ahead to 5-4 on serve in the tiebreak, then lost two points and suffered a grubber bounce when the Russian fired back a return of serve that landed on the worn areas by the baseline.
'It was the same score as when I played her here last time (in 2010) but I felt it was closer on her service games today,' said Robson.
The teenager was crestfallen, although geed up a little by the mixed doubles news, which comes so late because it is run on an on-site signing-up basis.
'I'm fairly decent at doubles and Andy is obviously one of the best returners in the world, so we’ve definitely got a chance.'
Down and out: It was a tough day for Watson who crashed out of the singles