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Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 11:22 UK

Murray handed tough Olympic draw

Andy Murray
Murray has already endured testing conditions during practice in Beijing

Andy Murray will play Lu Yen-Hsun of Taipei in the first round at the Olympics, but faces a tough test if he is to go on and win a medal.

The British number one is likely to face Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, with Novak Djokovic a potential semi-final opponent.

Top seed Roger Federer has a tricky opener against Dmitry Tursunov.

Andy and Jamie Murray will play Canada's Daniel Nestor and Frederick Niemeyer in the doubles first round.

Following his first training session in Beijing, alongside his brother, Andy Murray said: "I feel confident.

"I'm playing the best tennis of my career but it's tough here. Very hard conditions, very hard tournament and I'm playing singles and doubles.

"It's pretty physically tiring as well. You have to make sure you don't spend too much energy off the court and try to save it all for the match."

Women's top seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia takes on Ukrainian Mariya Koryttseva in her first match, while compatriot and second seed Jelena Jankovic faces Zimbabwe's Cara Black.

Serena Williams of the USA could prove the biggest hurdle on Ivanovic's side of the draw, the American fourth seed opening against Olga Govortsova of Belarus.

Seventh seed Venus Williams is on the other half of the draw and begins against Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky.

The men's event is the focus of much interest as it marks the latest chapter in the battle between Federer and Nadal, with Djokovic and Murray pushing hard to join the world's leading two.

OLYMPICS BLOG
Federer on checking into a hotel rather than the athletes' village
Nadal will replace Federer as world number one on August 18, having taken his Wimbledon title in a thrilling five-set final last month.

Federer had always made a first Olympic gold medal a priority for 2008 and that is even more the case bearing in mind his relatively poor year.

"I know people expect more from me after the last five years but I can still save this season with this or the US Open and right now the focus is on the Olympics," said Federer, who will carry the Swiss team flag at the opening ceremony on Friday.

"To say this season has been bad because I didn't win that epic is a bit hard."

He added: "I want to the win the French Open, Olympic Games, other Grand Slams and try to break records.

"It's great to be part of the history books. I really hope I can win gold here, otherwise at Wimbledon 2012."

Federer has played Tursunov twice, winning on both occasions, but the Russian has been in good form recently, reaching the final in Indianapolis.

"He's a dangerous player, he hits the ball hard and serves well," said Federer.

"I've known him since our junior days, we go way back. He's a good player so I'll have to play well."

American Andy Roddick is the highest-profile absentee in the men's singles, while Russian Maria Sharapova withdrew because of a recurrent shoulder injury.

The Olympic tournament starts on Sunday.


see also
Draw and Results - Tennis
07 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Team GB for Beijing
21 Jul 08 |  Team GB
Tennis on the BBC
19 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Find your nearest tennis court
12 Sep 05 |  Get Involved
Download a tennis mask
11 Jul 08 |  Get Involved


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