World’’s top tennis players look forward to competing in Beijing

August 10th, 2008 - 11:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Roger Federer

Beijing, August 10 (ANI): World’’s top tennis players like Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, Sania Mirza looking forward to competing in Beijing Olympics.

World no. three Serbia’’s Novak Djokovic believes winning tennis gold in Beijing would be ”a dream”.

Speaking at a publicity event alongside compatriot Ana Ivanovic on Saturday, Djokovic said he felt the Olympics were the ultimate event in sports.

Australian Open Champion Djokovic is also tipping Andy Murray to be a big threat to both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadel in Beijing. The Serbian lost to Murray in the Cincinnati Masters final on Sunday in straight sets, 7-6, 7-6.

Well there is many players obviously there is Federer and Nadal, the two best players in the world, and two biggest favourite where ever they play and on what ever surface but then there is Andy Murray who is playing great tennis at the moment recently he won the Masters in Cincinnati so I think he is a big threat, said Djokovic.

World number one Ana Ivanovic is another rising Serbian tennis star claiming headlines. The 20-years-old won her first Grand Slam singles title at the French Open this year having been runner up at the same event in 2007. Ivanovic remembers playing tennis with Djokovic at the age of ten in Belgrade.

We played once, once we warm up for a competition I think it was ten or under 12 (years old) and we hit together for a warm up and I tried to hit so good to impress him that I was tired, I couldn”t play my match so lost, so since then I don”t want to, said Ivanovic.

Another woman going for Olympic glory is World number 60 India’’s Sania Mirza.

She has had to cope with criticism from some orthodox Islamic groups in India who believe her attire does not conform to Islamic dress codes.

Mirza feels that the pressure of representing the worlds second largest nation is something she can use to her advantage.

Of course there’’s always pressure I think when you come from a country like India where people are so emotional about their heroes and their athletes and whatever it is, yeah. But I think it’’s very good pressure, I think this is a pressure that everyone dreams of - to be the medal hope at the Olympics for your own country. I am very excited to be here, to be at my first Olympics, first time in China as well. Yeah I”m gonna just try and turn that (pressure) into a positive and the least I can do is give my best, Sania said.

Chile’’s Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez are hopeful of defending their men’’s doubles title in Beijing. The pair made history in Athens when they defeated Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuttler of Germany, giving Chile her first-ever Olympic gold medal. The very next day, Massu captured his second gold by defeating American Mardy Fish in the singles final.

Tennis was dropped as an Olympic sport following the 1924 Games, but reinstated in 1988 for the Seoul Olympics. (ANI)

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