Aug 8, 2008

The Olympic Tennis Draw is Out

The Opening Ceremony of Beijing Olympics 2008 is just 18 hours away.

Coincidentally, today is also Roger Federer's birthday. He received an early present, a tough draw in the first round against Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov.

It's slightly better for soon-to-be world no. 1, Rafael Nadal could face a tough second round match meeting either Lleyton Hewitt of Australia or veteran Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.

No. 3-ranked Novak Djokovic faces American Robby Ginepri, and No. 8 James Blake will start against Chris Guccione of Australia on the path to a possible quarterfinal meeting with Federer. Chile’s Nicolas Massu, the gold medalist in Athens, faces Belgium’s Steve Darcis.

Both of host China’s representatives drew daunting first-round matchups. No. 7 David Nalbandian of Argentina will take on Zeng Shaoxuan, while Sun Peng will face 12th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, a bronze medalist in Athens.

The top seeds in the women side are luckier. Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia drew Ukraine’s Mariya Koryttseva, while second-seeded Jelena Jankovic also of Serbia will face Zimbabwe’s Cara Black, who drew an Olympic wild card to make the tournament after another competitor withdrew.

Fourth-seeded Serena opening against Belarus’ Olga Govortsova and No. 7 Venus facing Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky. Lindsay Davenport, the Olympic champion in Atlanta 12 years ago, drew Australia’s Alicia Molik, who won a bronze medal in Athens.

Three of China’s four women’s representatives also drew ranked opponents. Li Na must face No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie will meet 11th-seeded Agnes Szavay of Hungary, and Yan Zi takes on ninth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia.

Well, I say it's tough for the Chinese men and women in tennis.

For the complete draw, click here for the men's singles draw and here for the women's singles draw.

(Images via ITF website, texts mostly via Yahoo! Sports)

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