Rio 2016 Olympics tennis draws announced - WSMV News 4

Rio 2016 Olympics tennis draws announced

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On Wednesday, the International Tennis Federation released the draws for the singles and doubles competitions at the Rio 2016 Games. 


Among the first-round highlights: No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the 2008 Games singles bronze medalist, will face Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, the 2012 Games singles bronze medalist. At the most recent Olympics, Del Potro defeated Djokovic in the Bronze Medal Match.



Del Potro, who won his first and only Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open, has been sidelined for much of the past several years due to a longstanding wrist injury. However, the Argentine's 2016 results have been encouraging, with the 27-year-old advancing to the third round of singles competition at the most recent Wimbledon Championships.






Djokovic, the current World No. 1 men's singles player, hopes to achieve the elusive "golden career Slam" at the Rio Olympics by winning the singles competition. The feat entails winning each of the four Grand Slam tournaments (January's Australian Open, May's French Open, June's Wimbledon Championships and August's US Open) at least once, though not necessarily in a given year. Djokovic finally won his maiden French Open title earlier in June, having already won the other three majors multiple times.


Though he was widely anticipated to become the first-ever man to achieve the "golden calendar Slam" (victories at all Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympics in a calendar year) after winning both the 2016 Australian Open and French Open, Djokovic crashed out of Wimbledon in a third round shocker against the United States' unseeded Sam Querrey. (Querrey will not participate in the Rio Olympics.)  




Should he advance to the final, Djokovic could face longtime rival, the No. 2-seeded Andy Murray of Great Britain. Djokovic and Murray met in the finals of this year's Australian Open and French Open. 


Murray is the defending men's singles gold medalist, defeating Roger Federer in the final at the London 2012 Games. Federer recently pulled out of the Rio Games - and the rest of the tennis season - due to an ailing knee; he suffered a torn meniscus in January, and has competed on-and-off since late spring. 



 



 

Additionally, Murray won his third Grand Slam title at this year's Wimbledon Championships - just under a month ago.

 





In women's singles, No. 1 seed Serena Williams of the United States will face Australia's Daria Gavrilova. Serena is the reigning women's singles Olympic gold medalist, defeating Russia's Maria Sharapova in the London 2012 final. 



Sharapova will not be able to defend her singles silver medal after annoucing she had failed a doping test administered at this year's Australian Open.


Serena's first big test could arrive as early as the second round, when she competes against France's unseeded Alize Cornet. The two players are tied in head-to-head match-ups, with three wins a piece. Should she survive that, Serena could meet older sister and doubles partner, No. 5 seed Venus Williams, in the semifinals. 



If she were to make it to the final, Serena could face Germany's No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber. Serena lost to Kerber in this year's Australian Open final, but defeated her in the most recent Wimbledon final.





 

As mentioned, Serena and Venus will team up for the women's doubles competition, where they'll seek their fourth gold in the category. The siblings are seeded first in that competition.


Tennis seedings were released yesterday. More information concerning the draws is available on the International Tennis Federation's website. Tennis play begins Saturday, August 6th. 


The order of play is expected later tonight, though may not be unveiled until tomorrow. Information concerning mixed doubles - including teams, seeds and draws - have also yet to be officially announced. 



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