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Olympic story

July 1, 2008 10:24 AM

The USTA, the governing body for the sport of tennis inthe U.S., today announced the nine players nominated for the U.S. Olympic team for tennis at

the 2008 Olympic Games, August 10-17 in Beijing, China.

U.S. women’s tennis coach Zina Garrison announced a four-woman team with three singles

entries and two doubles teams. All three singles players -- Serena Williams, Venus Williams

and Lindsay Davenport -- are former Olympic gold medal winners. The two nominated U.S.

women’s doubles teams consist of world No. 1 Liezel Huber with Davenport and the Williams

sisters.

U.S. men’s tennis coach Rodney Harmon announced a five-player men’s team, also with three

singles entries and two doubles teams. James Blake, Sam Querrey and Robby Ginepri were

named to the team in singles. Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 1 doubles team in the world, and

Blake and Querrey have been nominated as the two U.S. men’s doubles teams.

The 2008 Olympic tennis competition will be staged August 10-17 on the hard courts of the

Olympic Green Tennis Center in Beijing. The United States has won 15 Olympic medals in

men’s and women’s tennis since it returned as a full medal sport in 1988 -- more than any other

nation.

“Selection to the U.S. Olympic team is a tremendous honor for these athletes, and one they truly

deserve,” said Jane Brown Grimes, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “The

Olympics provides one of the greatest global platforms to showcase our sport, and we expect

this to be a very memorable summer for tennis.”

“Each player selected to our U.S. Olympic team knows what playing for their country is all

about,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Pro Tennis, USTA. “All of these players have worn the Stars

and Stripes as part of the U.S. Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, and will be outstanding

competitors -- and first-class ambassadors -- for our country in Beijing.”

“With three former gold medalists on our team and the No. 1 doubles player in the world, we are

certainly capable of earning medals at this Olympics,” said Garrison. “I have great memories of

the Olympics as a player and coach, and I am thrilled to be a part of the excitement once again.”

“The guys are all honored to receive the nomination to represent their country,” said Harmon.

“With all of our singles players making their Olympic debuts and the Bryans searching for one of

the few prizes they have still to earn in their accomplished careers, our goal is to be on the

podium when all is said and done.”

- 2 -

Serena Williams, 26, will be making her second Olympic appearance having won a gold medal

in women’s doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games with sister, Venus, becoming the first set of

siblings to win Olympic gold in tennis. A resident of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Serena has won

eight Grand Slam singles titles, and in 2003, became one of only five women to hold all four

Grand Slam singles titles within a 12-month period.

Venus Williams, 28, will be making her third Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in

both women’s singles and women’s doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games, joining Helen Wills in

1924 as the only player to sweep both titles at the same Olympiad. A resident of Palm Beach

Gardens, Fla., Venus holds four Wimbledon and two US Open singles titles.

Lindsay Davenport, 32, will be making her third Olympic appearance having won a gold medal

in singles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Davenport took 11 months off from

professional tennis to have her first child in June 2007, returning to the tour in September 2007.

A resident of Laguna Beach, Calif., she has won 55 singles titles and 37 doubles titles in her

career, including the 1998 US Open, 1999 Australian Open and 2000 Wimbledon titles.

Liezel Huber, 30, will be making her first Olympic appearance as an American (she competed

at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney representing her native South Africa). A resident of

Cypress, Texas, she became an American citizen in July 2007 with the hopes of competing for

the U.S. in the Olympics. Ranked No. 1 in doubles since November 2007, Huber has won three

Grand Slam doubles titles. She made her debut for the U.S. Fed Cup team in April.

James Blake, 28, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. A resident of Tampa, Fla., Blake

has the chance to make history by becoming the first African-American male to win an Olympic

tennis medal. Blake missed the 2004 Olympic Games while recovering from a broken vertebra.

The winner of 10 singles and five doubles titles during his career, he is currently the No. 2

ranked American and in 2007, helped the U.S. win the Davis Cup title.

Sam Querrey, 20, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. Querrey is having a

breakthrough year in just his second full season as a pro. He broke into the Top 50 in 2007 and

his ranking continues to rise after winning his first singles title in March in Las Vegas. He

currently resides in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Robby Ginepri, 25, will be making his Olympic debut in Beijing. He missed being named to the

2004 U.S. Olympic team despite being ranked No. 35 in the world (he was the fifth-ranked

American entered and the maximum number of singles players per country is four). A resident

of Kennesaw, Ga., Ginepri has the distinction of being the only active American man other than

Andy Roddick to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event (2005 US Open).

Bob and Mike Bryan, 30, will be making their second appearance in the Olympics having

reached the quarterfinals in 2004 in Athens, losing to eventual gold medalists Fernando

Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu of Chile. The Bryans, currently residing in Wesley Chapel, Fla.,

joined the great, great uncles of President George W. Bush as the only two sets of brothers to

play tennis for the United States in the Olympics (Arthur and George Wear competed in the

1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis and each won a bronze medal with different doubles

partners). Together, the Bryans have won the career Grand Slam in doubles and in 2007,

helped the U.S. capture its first Davis Cup title since 1995.

 

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