London 2012: Doubles will be tennis highlight - Jamie Murray

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport

Jamie Murray believes the doubles event will spark a more patriotic atmosphere than singles at London 2012.

Murray is set to represent Britain with brother Andy for the second time at the Games after their debut in Beijing.

And the elder Murray sibling is convinced their partnership can stir the host nation's Olympic spirit.

"I think doubles is more of an Olympic sport than the singles because you've got that team aspect to it," he told BBC Sport.

"Maybe there's more patriotism in terms of the people watching. You're there as a team playing for Britain; it's not Murray and Murray. At the last Olympics it was 'we're playing Canada', not 'we're playing Nestor and Niemeyer'.

"That's how it felt to me - that doubles was more of an Olympic sport in how the fans interacted with it."

Murray, the elder by 15 months at 26, has won ATP titles in each of the last two years with his brother and is relishing the unique opportunity that a London Games offers.

"I've been getting asked about it for ages but there are so many tennis events, to think about one that's like a year away is not really normal for a tennis player," he said. "Now it's only a couple of months away I'm definitely looking forward to it, excited to play.

"There are so many unique things about it - it's a home Olympics, I'm playing with my brother, it's being played at Wimbledon - you couldn't really write that."

With a doubles ranking of 39 and his brother fourth in the world in singles, Murray is not worried about making the cut for Olympic places which will take place on 11 June, but the complicated qualification system could leave some Britons disappointed.

Each nation can have a maximum of six players - up to four in singles and two teams in doubles - leaving the likes of Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson and Laura Robson guessing as to exactly what ranking will be required.

"It's a bit confusing because you've got the ranking cut off. Spain or France probably have seven or eight players that can qualify by ranking, but you can only have six players on the team," said Murray.

"We know we'll be ranked high enough, so we're not really worrying about it, but I guess for the girls who are kind of borderline, for them it's probably a bit more up in the air of who's going to get in.

"They could have a good couple of results in time for the deadline. It will be interesting to see how many of them can get in."

Mixed doubles will make its debut as an Olympic event in London, with just 16 teams involved.

"If you think of some of the teams you could have playing it could be a ridiculous level of tournament," said Murray.

"We'll have to see who enters, because that doesn't happen until the tournament starts, and in a draw of 16 you only need to win two matches to play for a medal.

"I guess Britain will get one pair in but who that would be I've got no idea. I haven't thought about it at all - more about playing the men's doubles with Andy and giving it our best shot."

For now, Murray is concentrating on striking up a new partnership on the tour with Australian Carsten Ball, and the pair will play Bordeaux, Nice, the French Open, Eastbourne and Wimbledon together, with a break at Queen's when the Murrays will team up.

Murray began the year by playing his first seven tournaments with another Australian, Paul Hanley, but the search for a long-term playing partner continues.

"Ideally I'd have the same partner all the time - it helps," he said.

"I tried to do that with Paul but it didn't work out, so that was disappointing, but I guess it finished at a good time because I was going to play the next few tournaments with Andy anyway.

"The fact I can play with Carsten for five or six tournaments is a good thing because last year I was playing with different people every week and it was frustrating.

"I was fortunate that I was able to play with Andy and we did well in those tournaments and won matches, so that was why I was able to keep improving my ranking."