Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski’s Olympic dreams are dashed in the men’s doubles after straight sets defeat to Japanese pair Ben McLachlan and Kei Nishikori in the second round
- British duo Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski are out of the men’s doubles in Tokyo
- They suffered a straight sets defeat to Ben McLachlan and Kei Nishikori of Japan
- The Brits pulled off a huge comeback in the first round but couldn’t replicate it
Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski’s hopes of a medal in the men’s doubles were ended in the second round by a 6-3 6-4 defeat against Japanese pair Ben McLachlan and Kei Nishikori.
Murray and Skupski survived a nail-biter in the first round but were unable to produce another comeback.
It has been a difficult season for Murray and his lack of confidence was clear, with one break in each set enough for the Japanese duo to progress to the quarter-finals.
Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski are out of the Tokyo Olympics after defeat in the second round
They were beaten in straight sets by Japanese pair Kei Nishikori (top) and Ben McLachlan
Murray (left) and Skupski survived a scare in the first round but were unable to fight back here
Murray said: ‘We’re disappointed to lose, obviously. The Olympic Games comes round once every four years and everyone wants to do well, everyone dreams of coming in and winning a medal.
‘It was a tough match for us today. I think the other guys played very well, especially at the start to put us under the pump a bit. Just a tough day.’
This was Murray’s fourth appearance at the Olympics and he had to digest another early loss after only one win in three Games alongside his brother Andy.
It is not unusual for doubles players to compete into their 40s and, asked if he could have another shot in Paris in 2024, Murray said: ‘Maybe.
‘I’ll be 38 then. There’s plenty of guys here still going strong at that age so we’ll see. If I am there, I guess it’s testament to the longevity of my career to play at that level for however many years.’
Murray showed a lack of confidence in Tokyo after a difficult season for him personally
Inspired by the opportunity of representing Japan on home turf, McLachlan and Nishikori had too much for the British stars, with a great start seeing them go 4-1 up in the first set, with Murray and Skupski forced to defend four break points before holding serve.
The Japanese took the first set in 39 minutes, and they held their nerve to claim the second as the Brits failed to take their chance of a break point in the fourth game.
Nishikori and McLachlan will go on to play either number one seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic or Italian pair Lorenzo Musetti and Lorenzo Sonego.
Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury will play their second-round match against German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz on Tuesday, while Liam Broady takes on Hubert Hurkacz in the second round of the singles.