Konta and Watson named with Andy and Jamie Murray in Rio tennis team

Johanna Konta, the first British woman in 32 years to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, has been named with Heather Watson and Andy and Jamie Murray, in the GB team for Rio.

Konta will make her Olympic debut, while Heather Watson returns for her second Games as Andy Murray defends his Olympic crown

It caps a fine year for Konta, after she reached the last four of the Australian Open.

Murray claimed gold in the men’s singles at London 2012 with victory over Roger Federer at the All England Club as well as silver in the mixed doubles.

Since then he has gone from strength to strength with two Grand Slam titles, including the 2013 Wimbledon title, while he and Jamie proved integral to Great Britain’s Davis Cup triumph in 2015.

Konta meanwhile has enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2016 after she became the first British woman in 32 years to reach a Grand Slam semi-final after getting to the final four of the Australian Open.

Team GB have amassed more tennis medals than any other nation at the Olympic Games with 44 and sit second in the medal table behind the USA who have 20 gold medals to Team GB’s 17.

All four were chosen by world rankings. The selection of the tennis squad brings the total number of athletes selected to Team GB for Rio 2016 to 122.

Johanna Konta said: “It’s such an honour to have the rare opportunity to represent my country in an Olympic Games. I’m looking forward to doing my part for Team GB and supporting my teammates across all the sports.”

Heather Watson added: “I am very excited, I’ve worked really hard for this and it’s been the main goal for me this year.

“I had such a great experience at London 2012 and I can’t wait to have the opportunity again to represent my country and be part of the Olympic Games, which is a dream come true.”

Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Rio 2016 said: “I would like to congratulate all four of these athletes on their selection to represent Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“There is invaluable Olympic experience in this squad with both Andy and Jamie selected for their third, and Heather for her second successive Olympic Games. Double medallist Andy is the defending men’s singles champion and Jamie one of the world’s best doubles players.

“Heather I am sure will lean on the experience from London 2012 and use that to her advantage; and it is brilliant to welcome Johanna into Team GB for the first time after a sensational year so far. It’s a very strong team.”

Andy Murray said: “Playing for Team GB during London 2012 gave me some of the best memories I have in sport. Being a home Olympic Games, it was such a special occasion and the atmosphere at Wimbledon was like nothing I have ever experienced.

“I watched Mo, Greg and Jess win gold the night before my final and it definitely helped inspire me.  Winning medals for your country is as good as it gets and I can’t wait to get to Rio to try and win more medals.”

Iain Bates, Team GB Tennis Team Leader added: “I am delighted to announce at this stage four British players who have been selected and had their places confirmed by the ITF for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We have the reigning gold medal champion in Andy Murray, who led Great Britain along with his brother Jamie to Davis Cup success last year.

“Plus we have Olympic debutante and world No. 18 Johanna Konta who recently became the highest ranked British woman in 32 years accompanying Heather Watson making her second appearance after 2012.  The challenge for us having performed so successfully at a home Games at London 2012 will be to try and match that achievement at an away Games in Rio but we are very much looking forward to it as a team.”