Andy Murray admits he has some anxiety as he prepares to defend his Olympic tennis title this summer but he’s excited to get going.
The tennis superstar won gold medals at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, and will be hoping to pull off another impressive victory.
Two hip surgeries since then have left Murray out of action for a while, and he sits ranked just 104th in the world.
The Briton will compete in both singles and doubles in Tokyo and will play alongside Joe Salisbury in the pairs event.
With the opener matches just around the corner, here’s everything you need to know about his upcoming ties.
Andy Murray: When is he competing?
The Olympic tennis tournament will begin on Saturday July 24, and finish on Sunday, August 1.
Each match will be best of three sets, different from Grand Slams in which men play best of five.
Murray will face number 9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round. It has not been confirmed when he will feature in the draw yet.
The two have faced each other in the past, with the 20-year-old Canadian beating Murray in the 2020 US Open.
Murray will also compete in the men’s doubles with Joe Salisbury.
The two will take on French second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert first on Saturday, July 24 at 3am UK time.
Andy Murray: Where can I watch it?
The BBC are showing the tennis matches in the UK so fans can watch Murray for free live on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer.
Eurosport have the main rights for Europe and a stream can be watched through their channels with a paid subscription.
talkSPORT will have regular updates from Tokyo throughout the Games while talkSPORT.com will also bring you all the action and reaction from Japan.
Andy Murray: What has been said?
Murray: “The Games are the biggest competition in the world and as athletes we train hard for moments like this.
“Tokyo 2020 in 2021 is unique, falling during the pandemic and we have seen incredible resilience from athletes, fans and all those involved in making this happen.
“In so many ways, right now it’s more important than ever that people around the world get to reconnect to the raw emotion of sport, watch incredible performances and celebrate the achievement of athletes coming from around the world.”
“My goal is to try and win a medal. Ideally a gold one for my country.”
Speaking on being tested positive for COVID in the past, he said: “It happened to me before the Australian Open and I was gutted.
“Thankfully I was able to compete in another Grand Slam a few months later, but if you’ve been preparing for something for five years and something like that to happens to you it would be brutal.
“So there is an anxiousness, but from what I’ve seen everyone is taking the protocols seriously so hopefully there won’t be too many issues.”
10 Team GB stars who are set to shine in Tokyo
Having surged under 57 seconds and set the 20 fastest times in history, Peaty appears a virtual certainty to defend his 100m breaststroke title – more than likely with a new world record into the bargain. Such is the extent of his dominance that his rivals are already resigned to battling it out for silver.
The Edinburgh shooter heads to Tokyo as the reigning world number one and 50m prone world champion, and a strong medal bet in the women’s 3×50 rifle event. McIntosh, who will also compete in the 10m air rifle, also won Britain’s first World Cup gold in 2019.
Already the fastest British woman in history, Asher-Smith has a habit of rising to the big occasion and she will need to be in the form of her life in Tokyo to see off American Gabby Thomas, who set the second-fastest time in history over 200m at the US trials, and veteran Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who did likewise in the 100m in Kingston.
McCormack has proved a class apart from most of his Olympic rivals over this extended cycle and will start as a clear favourite for welterweight boxing gold. His recent win over Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy – who denied him world gold in 2019 – was a clear sign of his intent to go all the way in the Japanese capital.
Jason and Laura Kenny
History is on the cards for cycling’s golden couple in Tokyo. Laura Kenny sits one behind Dame Katherine Grainger’s five-gold medal haul on the domestic all-time list, while Jason currently boasts seven Olympic medals, one short of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ career tally of eight, with every chance both records will at least be matched.
After claiming two extraordinary gold medals in Rio, Whitlock has restricted his focus to his favoured pommel for Tokyo. Despite his recent fall on his return to competition at the European Championships, the 28-year-old will start as favourite – but could be pushed all the way by Ireland’s rising star Rhys McClenaghan.
Brown, who turns 13 this month, will become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian when she competes in the skateboard park competition. But the young prodigy stands every chance of a medal, having qualified in third place and also claimed a World Championship bronze medal in Sao Paolo in 2019.
Glover won consecutive rowing gold medals with Heather Stanning in 2012 and 2016 before retiring to start a family. Tempted to launch a return, Glover and her new partner Polly Swann stormed to European gold in April, raising the prospect of a remarkable third medal for the 35-year-old in Japan.
Jones was a teenager when she won her first Olympic taekwondo gold at London 2012, and followed up her triumph in Rio four years later. Now 28 and also the reigning world champion, Jones is a hot favourite to secure an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic title.