Andy Murray is determined not to let the disappointment of losing in the Wimbledon final get in the way of his ambition to win an Olympic gold medal next month. Murray, beaten by Roger Federer in four sets on Sunday, will be back at the All England Club for the start of the Olympic tournament in just 18 days.
"Winning an Olympic gold is a big, big goal of mine," Murray said in the wake of the first appearance by a British man in a Wimbledon singles final for 74 years. "I need to make sure that over the next few weeks I do all the right things so I have at least an opportunity, because it would be easy to do the wrong things just now.
"I have done that in the past. After Australia, when I lost in the final there, I struggled for a few months and didn't do the right things. I need to focus on the next couple of weeks and the preparation for that and get myself in good shape."
Asked about his immediate plans, Murray said: "I might go away. I might go to Miami. I might go somewhere in Europe on holiday. I could stay at home and just enjoy being there, but the weather in this country is terrible – it's been so bad – so I could probably do with getting some sun and having a bit of time away from the court."
The Olympics come in the middle of an exceptionally busy summer for tennis players. Most of the top men do not usually play for at least a month after Wimbledon and will then compete in two Masters Series tournaments in North America before heading for the US Open at the end of August. This year, the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters are still in the calendar, in back-to-back weeks immediately after the Olympic tournament. By the end of the US Open the top men will have played in a minimum of three Grand Slam events, the Olympics and two Masters Series tournaments in a little more than three months.
"I said at the end of last year that this year more than most is going to be hard, hard on the body and the mind," Murray said. "You need to be smart with your scheduling. You need to be intelligent. Like right now, I need to make sure I take the right amount of time off. It would be stupid to go back on the court.
"I know my body is not ready to play again and my mind is not in the right place. I need to make sure I take the right amount of rest so I am good to go for the Olympics. And with the US Open just around the corner after that, the body is going to need to be in good shape. The Olympics will be a bit different because it is best-of-three sets. You can't afford slow starts, you can't afford to lose games. You need to be on it right from the first match through to the end. It's going to be a tough tournament mentally, I think, and because I'm playing the doubles as well I obviously need to make sure I am in good shape for it."
Murray's coach, Ivan Lendl, who told the Scot after Sunday's final to "be proud of your efforts and the way you fought", is the only man in the Open era who has gone on to win at least one Grand Slam title after losing his first four finals. Murray has now lost his first four, but believes he still has plenty of time to make his breakthrough.
"The place where really anybody only judges me now is in the Grand Slams," Murray said. "That's where I need to play my best tennis and how I perform in those tournaments is how I am judged – not in the Masters Series, not the 500s or Queen's. I knew that I performed well in Australia and lost a tough one against Novak [Djokovic]. I felt I was still improving in the last few months. I just maybe had the back injury and that didn't help, but I am still improving. The other guys are too, but there is not that big a gap."
Murray said the last fortnight had been good for British tennis. "What Jonny Marray did was unbelievable," he said. "With me reaching the final and Jonny winning the doubles, it's been the best Wimbledon for a long time from a British perspective. I was happy to be part of it."