ANDY Murray last night expressed regret that tennis will play no part in the Commonwealth Games and insisted he would have to come to Glasgow to compete.
Like most top singles players, the Scot declined to participate in Delhi four years ago, the only occasion on which tennis has been included.
In addition to a number of specified core events, host cities have the leeway to select a number from an optional list, of which tennis is one. But when Glasgow organisers put forward their bid document in 2007 - at a time when Murray was already in or around the world's top 10 - tennis and archery were dropped in favour of judo and triathlon.
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Murray, whose brother Jamie went to Delhi, and whose close friend Colin Fleming took gold for Scotland in the mixed doubles with Jocelyn Rae, will be in the midst of the US hard court swing by the time the Games start next month. However, said he would have found room in his schedule.
Somdev Devvarman was a home winner of the men's singles and Murray would surely have fancied his chance of similar success.
"I think it would have been nice if there had been tennis in Glasgow and I probably would have played if it had been," the 27-year-old said. "With anything like that, if you take it out for a few years and then bring it back in you don't really build that prestige of making the guys really want to play, so it's a shame."
Murray takes on Kevin Anderson, the 6ft 8in No 20 seed from Johannesburg, on Centre Court at Wimbledon tomorrow having been untroubled in the first week of the tournament, unlike many of his rivals. The Scot would rather it that way, but is on guard against complacency.
"The only way it could become a problem is if you are not mentally prepared for the matches to become more challenging," he said. "I'm aware that against Kevin things will be a lot tougher."
l Wimbledon, pages 7-9