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Andy Murray insists he will be fully fit for his Olympic final with Roger Federer after he battled through two hard-fought matches on Saturday to reach the mixed doubles final with Laura Robson.
Murray will be going for his first singles gold medal when he faces Federer on Sunday in a rematch of last month's Wimbledon final, which the Swiss great won in four sets.
But, while Federer was relaxing at home, the world number four has had to expend valuable energy before that best-of-five sets showdown after being forced to play two mixed doubles matches in one day following rain earlier in the week which disrupted the schedule at the All England Club.
Murray and Robson, who were given a wildcard into the event, defeated Australian duo Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur 6-3, 3-6, 10/8 in a hard-fought quarter-final that lasted one hour and 20 minutes on Centre Court.
And the British pair returned to action later on Saturday to beat Germany's Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 10/7 in the semi-finals.
“I feel all right. I'm a bit stiff,” Murray said. “When you play singles, I'm always sore in the same places. When you play doubles, it's a bit different. You're trying to be quite explosive at the net, so other things hurt a little bit more.
“But I'll do everything right tonight to make sure I'm in the best possible shape for tomorrow because it's a big day and I want to do well.”
Murray doesn't believe he has been put at a disadvantage by the hectic build-up to his singles final and he added: “Obviously it's been another fairly long day at the courts.
“I wouldn't prepare like this for a slam final. But it's the Olympics and it's different, so I'm fine to play two mixed today and have no problem playing five sets tomorrow.”
Murray and Robson are scheduled to play their mixed doubles final, against Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka or Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond, after the Federer final, meaning one more long day at the courts for the Scot.
But he believes the prospect of winning two gold medals at his home Games is a once-in-a-lifetime incentive that should pull him through the pain barrier if he starts to flag on Sunday.
“For me both matches are very important tomorrow. I'd love to win two golds, but I'd obviously prefer one gold than two silvers,” he said.
“Yesterday when I won the (singles) match against (Novak) Djokovic, I was very emotional. Today I was very, very happy with both wins.
“In tennis we're used to thinking the next week we have another chance. But with the Olympics you're not guaranteed another chance. It's such a long way away.
“Anything can happen with your career. That's why every match is important here.” - Sapa-AFP