Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Williams Sisters Qualify For London Olympics

With the publication of the latest WTA rankings on Monday, the composition of the United States Olympic Team members who will be participating in tennis became clearer. The Top 56 players are automatically eligible to play at the London Olympics (which starts July 24th at the All-England Tennis Club in Wimbledon). 3-time Gold Medallist Venus Williams, 31, is now ranked #47, so she automatically qualifies, as does her 30-year-old sister Serena Williams, who is ranked at #6. Each country gets 4 singles players, so the other members of the team are expected to be Christina McHale (who is ranked #29) and Varvara Lepchenko at #52. Teen phenom Sloane Stephens may have to wait her turn for the Rio Olympics in 2016. There are also 8 "wild cards" so Stephens still has a chance to represent her country in London  but Vania King at #59 probably does not.

On the men's side, the ATP rankings indicate that Team USA is most likely going to include John Isner(#10), Andy Roddick, (#32) Donald Young (#48),  and Ryan Harrison (#52). #12 Mardy Fish has announced that he is not playing due to his recent medical situation with his heart.

There are also doubles teams (women's, men's and mixed) from each country. Obviously Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond and Bob and Mike Bryan will be included, but the mixed doubles team has to come from the people who qualify for singles. That has lead to an awful lot of speculation about who will be playing with  Serena: Isner, one of the Bryan brothers, or Roddick? Serena tried playing with lefty Bob Bryan in Paris and they lost in the first round. It will be interesting to see who she played the Wimbledon mixed doubles with. Obviously, she'll play the doubles with Venus.

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