Madrid - Defending champion Andy Murray
says he won't be living in the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, preferring to
stay at an apartment with the British tennis team.
Murray stayed in the athletes' village in
Beijing in 2008, but not in London in 2012, when he won the Olympic gold medal
in the singles tournament.
"I'm not staying in the Village,"
he said after a second-round victory over Radek Stepanek at the Madrid Masters
on Tuesday. "I'm staying in an apartment with the rest of the team."
He said he had fun socializing with
athletes from other sports in Beijing, but in Rio this August he decided to
repeat the winning formula from London.
"To be honest, when I stayed in the
village in Beijing I had a great time," said the No. 2-ranked Murray.
"But my tennis was pretty bad there. I did something different obviously
during London and that worked out well for me."
Murray said he wants to be as prepared as
possible to contend for another medal, and to do that he will take on the
Olympics as if it was any other big tournament on tour.
"My job there is to try to prepare as
best I can and win a medal for my country," the 28-year-old British player
said. "I think the best way to do that is to sort of prepare like you do
for other events where you're in your own space."
Murray also spent some time at the
athletes' village in London even though he was not based there. He said at the
time that meeting with other athletes was part of the Olympic experience.
Many other tennis players did not stay at
the village in 2012 because the Olympic tournament was played at Wimbledon,
distant from the other main competition venues.
Roger Federer is another top player who
reportedly will skip the athletes' village in Rio, although his staff was yet
to confirm his official plans.
Federer had problems at the Olympic Village in
2008 because of the constant requests from other athletes for autographs and
photographs. Maria Sharapova also was constantly sought-after at the village in
"It's different than what we're used
to," Murray said. "I think that's why the players are staying
Rafael Nadal was one off the main
attractions at the Olympic Village in Beijing, when he won the singles gold
He has already said he wants to enjoy the same experience in Rio in a
few months. The former No 1 said that being with other athletes is one of the
high points of being at the games.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the bronze medallist
in Beijing, said that the Olympic tournament is one of his priorities. Like
Nadal, he also stayed at the athletes' village in 2008.
A top Brazilian security official said last
month that in terms of security, it would be better for all athletes to stay in
the Olympic Village, which would make it easier to keep them safe.
additional security measures might be needed to protect some of the athletes
who decide to stay in other places.