Beijing Olympics 2008: four weeks to go, Pt.2
Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:15
All but two of the worlds top 20 female players will head to Beijing to represent their nations at this years Olympic tennis event.
Anna Chakvetadze may have pulled out, but Dinara Safina has gratefully accepted her spot in a strong Russian squad, set to go head to head with Serbian duo Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic. Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli is ineligible.
Theyre absolutely the highlight of my career Alicia Molik
And while there might not be a defending champion at this years Olympics in Beijing following Justine Henins shock retirement, there will be a former champion in the field.
Lindsay Davenport’s main focus in the coming weeks will be her preparations for the Olympics in Beijing, after being forced to withdraw from Wimbledon last month because of a knee injury.
The American, whose father was also an Olympian, is confident of being fully fit for the Games. “I’m really excited about Beijing. It was my huge goal coming back from having my baby.”
“I’m doing my rehab and trying to get it [her knee] better. So far it’s responded well but I haven’t tested it too much yet.
It was my huge goal coming back from having my baby. Lindsay Davenport
All being well, Davenport, who won the singles title at the Atlanta Games in 1996, will represent the United States in Beijing along with Serena and Venus Williams and doubles specialist Liezel Huber.
The diagnosis is just an old knee that’s played too many tennis hours. That’s just it. Nothing looks crazy on any of the scans. So for the doctors that I saw at Wimbledon and my doctor here, it’s basically right now all about resting it and trying to get it better.”
Given special places in women’s singles were 2004 bronze-medallist Alicia Molik, Ukraines Maria Koryttseva, Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan, Ayumi Morita, Nuria Llagostera-Vives and Selima Sfar.
Molik was thrilled to learn she would be returning to the Olympics in Beijing after winning Australias first tennis medal in Athens.
“This is probably the best news I’ve had since 2004,” she said. “I have played in two Olympics, and I have to say they’re the absolute highlight of my career.”
Shades of grey
Over 40 of the worlds leading tennis players appear in a coffee-table book promoting the 2008 Beijing Olympic Tennis Event.