U.S. Olympic Tennis Preview: Tough Draws for Blake, Men
The Olympic tennis draws have been released, and the U.S. men in Florida’s James Blake, Robby Ginepri and Sam Querrey have been dealt a difficult hand, as have most of the participants in the star-packed draw.
Ginepri opens against world No. 3 Novak Djokovic, while Querrey has two winnable matches before a potential third-round meeting against world No. 2 Rafael Nadal. Blake, the No. 8 seed, opens against big-serving Aussie Chris Guccione, and hopes to make a quarterfinal meeting against world No. 1 Roger Federer.
In doubles the top-seeded Bryan brothers of Saddlebrook face a potential second-round meeting against 2004 Athens Olympics silver medalists Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler of Germany. Blake and Querrey are unseeded in doubles, opening against the No. 8-seeded Russian team of Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko.
On the women’s side it remains to be seen whether some time off has healed the knee injuries of the Williams sisters and Lindsay Davenport.
The No. 4-seeded Serena should cruise until a potential quarterfinal meeting with No. 5 seed Elena Dementieva in the quarters, then top-seeded Ana Ivanovic in the semis. Venus, the No. 7 seed, should find little resistance until a potential meeting with No. 3 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarters.
Davenport and University of Florida alumnus Jill Craybas are both unseeded. Davenport opens against Alicia Molik, with a tough match-up against No. 6 seed Dinara Safina awaiting in the second round. Craybas will be challenged right from the get-go against No. 13 seed Patty Schnyder.
The Williams sisters are seeded No. 2 in doubles, and Davenport and Liezel Huber No. 5. Both singles and doubles for the men and women begin on Sunday, Aug. 10 in Beijing.
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