U.S. Olympic Tennis Preview: Tough Draws for Blake, Men
by Richard Vach | August 7th, 2008, 12:22 pm

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.

From the Play Tennis Florida magazine e-newsletter, subscribe at www.PlayTennisFlorida.com

Also Check Out:
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Federer Grabs Olympic Gold in Doubles; Djokovic Beats Blake for Singles Bronze

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12 Comments for U.S. Olympic Tennis Preview: Tough Draws for Blake, Men

TalkAboutSport Says:

Personally, I doubt if most players will even attempt to TRY ridiculously hard considering they have to train for the US Open in a couple of weeks. Maybe Federer will to help him get out of his slump… but I am not correct in saying that every Olympics don’t we have some obscure player winning the gold?

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Colin Says:

That headline, taking it at its face value, implies that Blake is a woman!

JoshDragon Says:

I don’t see why the top players wouldn’t try hard to win the Olympics. The Olympics are quite rare and only come along a few times during a players career. It may not be a major but it’s still nice to have a gold medal.

Richard Vach Says:

JoshDragon — I believe the players try VERY HARD at the Olympics. The Olympics get a bum rap because the medals are frequently won by “upset” players (non-Top 10 ranked). It is the same situation as Davis Cup — once you have a competition with extra pressure and a good deal of nationalism, just about anything can happen, and frequently does.

JCF Says:

The 400 ranking points offered by the event pretty much speaks for its worth on the tour. A Masters Series event (of which there are nine per season) is worth 500, and a slam is worth 1000.

You tell me where the priorities are.

JoshDragon Says:

Yes, there definitely isn’t enough importance placed on the Olympics as far as the points are concerned.

Ryan Says:

Fed is gonna win the gold medal in beijing coz the draw is easy and he wants the whole world to see that he is the real lion in the jungle.

jane Says:

If the draw is “easy,” how is he the “real” lion? Just wondering how you’d reconcile those two seemingly contradictory claims Ryan.

FoT Says:

No draw is “easy” as all of these players are professionals.

Colin Says:

“The real lion in the jungle” reminds me of how those old Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies mininformed me when I was a kid. Lions don’t live in the jungle, do they? They live on the plains.
Regarding Federer, I’ll be surprised if he wins Gold in Beijing. Can the man who lost to Karlovic reconstruct his game and his mindset in so short a time?

JCF Says:

Colin, playing Karlovic is a 50/50 proposition. It is no shame losing to him.

If Karlovic can win 7 coin flips in a row, then he deserves a grand slam title.

JCF Says:


Unfortunately, his odds always run out after 3 flips or so. Sometimes not even one. Being able to serve out of a tree is great, but you have to complement it with other weapons too.

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