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Anderson: Missing Olympics will be tough

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Originally published on: 12/07/12 00:00

The Johannesburg-native skipped his nation’s Davis Cup tie with Slovenia back in April, subsequently forgoing his chance to feature at the All England Club. ITF rules stipulate that only players who have made themselves eligible for Davis Cup action in two of the past four years are eligible to compete in the Games, and Anderson is well aware of what he’s missing after a memorable experience in 2008.

“It’s tough,” he told tennishead. “Being in London and playing at Wimbledon will be special I’m sure.”

Anderson won his opening singles match and, alongside Jeff Coetzee, took Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer to three sets in doubles at the Olympic tennis event four years ago, but admits his golden moments came off the court.

“In Beijing, some of the best memories I had came from staying in the athletes village,” he said. “Being in the gym area was probably the most interesting place in terms of seeing people preparing and watching what they go through, especially for those sports that evolve around the Olympic games so heavily. It was amazing to see those guys, and women, preparing for what lay ahead of them.”

Renowned for his strong work ethic, the 27-year-old right-hander says he didn’t pick up anything specific from other athletes that he has since applied to his own training regimen, more that observing other competitors provided an added source of inspiration.

“It was great for me to see different athletes from different countries, different sports, and their work ethic as well,” he added. “It was more of an eye opener than anything else.”

The world No.33, who won his second career title on the hard courts of Delray Beach this February, hopes to make the most of the absence of a large majority of the top 50 at the Citi Open, an ATP 500 event in Washington, during the week of the Olympics.

“Fortunately there are other tournaments so I will be still competing,” said Anderson. “Tennis is a little different to some of the other sports in that we also have a lot players there, so some of the biggest goals evolve around events outside of the Olympics. I’ll be setting my own goals, I wont have any Olympic goals this time round, but I’ll be focusing on that.”

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