Rafael Nadal, Rio 2016

Here’s the updated list of singles and doubles entries for the Rio Olympics. Mixed doubles entries will be confirmed on site during the Olympic Tennis Event.

Argentina
Men’s singles: Juan Martin del Potro, Federico Delbonis, Juan Monaco, Guido Pella
Men’s doubles: Juan Martin del Potro/Maximo Gonzalez, Federico Delbonis/Guillermo Duran

Australia
Women’s singles: Sam Stosur, Daria Gavrilova
Women’s doubles: Daria Gavrilova/Sam Stosur, Anastasia Rodionova/Arina Rodionova
Men’s singles: John Millman, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Jordan Thompson, Sam Groth
Men’s doubles: Chris Guccione/John Peers

Austria
Men’s doubles: Oliver Marach/Alexander Peya

Barbados
Men’s singles: Darian King

Belarus
Men’s doubles: Aliaksandr Bury/Max Mirnyi

Belgium
Women’s singles: Yanina Wickmayer, Kirsten Flipkens
Women’s doubles: Kirsten Flipkens/Yanina Wickmayer
Men’s singles: David Goffin

Bosnia/Herzegovina
Women’s singles: Mirza Basic
Men’s singles: Damir Dzumhur

Brazil
Women’s singles: Teliana Pereira
Women’s doubles: Teliana Pereira, Paula Cristina Goncalves/Teliana Pereira
Men’s singles: Thomaz Bellucci, Rogerio Dutra Silva
Men’s doubles: Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares, Thomaz Bellucci/Andre Sa

Bulgaria
Women’s singles: Tsvetana Pironkova
Men’s singles: Grigor Dimitrov

Canada
Women’s singles: Eugenie Bouchard
Women’s doubles: Eugenie Bouchard/Gabriela Dabrowski
Men’s singles: Vasek Pospisil
Men’s doubles: Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil

Milos Raonic was one of the poster boy for Canadian Olympic Committee campaign, but decided to withdraw from the Games (you know, Zika and all that…), that tells a lot about the man…

Read: Team Canada unveils ‘Ice in our veins’ campaign for Rio 2016

Chile
Men’s doubles: Julio Peralta/Hans Podlipnik-Castillo

China, P.R.
Women’s singles: Peng Shuai, Zhang Shuai, Wang Qiang
Women’s doubles: Xu Yi-Fan/Zheng Saisai, Peng Shuai/Zhang Shuai

Chinese Taipei
Women’s singles: Hsieh Su-Wei
Women’s doubles: Chan Hao-Ching/Chan Yung-Jan, Chuang Chia-Jung/Hiseh Su-Wei
Men’s singles: Lu Yen-Hsun

Colombia
Women’s singles: Mariana Duque-Marino
Men’s doubles: Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah

Croatia
Women’s singles: Ana Konjuh
Men’s singles: Marin Cilic, Borna Coric
Men’s doubles: Marin Cilic/Marin Draganja

Cyprus
Men’s singles: Marcos Baghdatis

Czech Republic
Women’s singles: Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Barbora Strycova
Women’s doubles: Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka, Lucie Safarova/Barbora Strycova
Men’s singles: Lukas Rosol
Men’s doubles: Lukas Rosol/Radek Stepanek

Denmark
Women’s singles: Caroline Wozniacki

The former world number one is Denmark’s flagbearer, but her medal chances are quite limited.

Dominican Republic
Men’s singles: Victor Estrella Burgos

France
Women’s singles: Kristina Mladenovic, Carolina Garcia, Alize Cornet
Women’s doubles: Carolina Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic
Men’s singles: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Benoit Paire
Men’s doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut, Gael Monfils/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Georgia
Men’s singles: Nikoloz Basilashvili

Germany
Women’s singles: Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic, Annika Beck, Laura Siegemund
Women’s doubles: Angelique Kerber/Andrea Petkovic, Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Laura Siegemund
Men’s singles: Philipp Kohlschreiber, Dustin Brown, Jan-Lennard Struff
Men’s doubles: Philipp Kohlschreiber/Jan-Lennard Struff

Tennis brought Germany quite a few medals in the past:
Steffi Graf won the gold in Seoul in 1988 to complete the Golden Grand Slam, as well as the womens doubles bronze medal with Claudia Kohde-Kilsch. They were representing West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) back then.
– Graf won silver in Barcelona four years later, while Boris Becker and Michael Stich, who were not the best of friends, teamed up to win gold in mens doubles.
– the teams of Marc-Kevin Goellner/David Prinosil and Nicolas Kiefer/Rainer Schuettler took respectively bronze in Atlanta in 1996 and silver in Athens in 2004.
– in 2000 in Sydney, Tommy Haas made an unexpected run to the final to catch silver.
Australian Open champion and Wimbledon runner-up Angelique Kerber is Germany’s biggest tennis medal hope in Rio.

Read: Steffi Graf: There’s no comparison in tennis for the feeling of standing on the podium

Great Britain
Women’s singles: Johanna Konta, Heather Watson
Women’s doubles: Johanna Konta/Heather Watson
Men’s singles: Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund
Men’s doubles: Andy Murray/Jamie Murray, Colin Fleming/Dominic Inglot

The 2012 London Olympics proved a turning point in Andy Murray‘s career: one month after his devastating defeat to Federer in the Wimbledon final, he turned the tables and he beat the same opponent on the same court to win the gold medal in front of his home crowd. He went on to win his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in September and his first Wimbledon title a year later.
He will compete in the three events: singles, doubles (with his brother Jamie) and mixed doubles (with recent mixed doubles Wimbledon champion Heather Watson) and will be the flag bearer for Team GB.

Read: Andy Murray: I felt that incredible sense of pride like I had never experienced before

Hungary
Women’s singles: Timea Babos
Women’s doubles: Timea Babos/Reka-Luca Jani

India
Women’s doubles: Sania Mirza/Prarthana Thombare
Men’s doubles: Rohan Bopanna/Leander Paes

1.3 billion people – 1 medal: Leander Paes won the singles bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, the one and only medal for India in these games. Both his parents are former Olympians: his father won a bronze medal in field hockey in Munich in 1972, and his mother was a member of the Indian basketball team at the same games.

Israel
Men’s singles: Dudi Sela

Italy
Women’s singles: Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Karin Knapp
Women’s doubles: Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci
Men’s singles: Fabio Fognini, Andreas Seppi, Paolo Lorenzi, Thomas Fabbiano
Men’s doubles: Fabio Fognini/Andreas Seppi

Japan
Women’s singles: Misaki Doi, Nao Hibino
Women’s doubles: Misaki Doi/Eri Hozumi
Men’s singles: Kei Nishikori, Taro Daniel, Yuichi Sugita

Kazakhstan
Women’s singles: Yaroslava Shvedova
Women’s doubles: Yaroslava Shvedova/Galina Voskoboeva

Latvia
Women’s singles: Jelena Ostapenko

Liechtenstein
Women’s singles: Stephanie Vogt

Lithuania
Men’s singles: Ricardas Berankis

Luxembourg
Men’s singles: Gilles Muller

Mexico
Men’s doubles: Santiago Gonzalez/Miguel Angel Reyes Varela

Montenegro
Women’s singles: Danka Kovinic

Netherlands
Women’s singles: Kiki Bertens
Men’s singles: Robin Haase
Men’s doubles: Robin Haase/Jean-Julien Rojer

New Zealand
Men’s doubles: Marcus Daniell/Michael Venus

Paraguay
Women’s singles: Veronica Cepede Royg

Poland
Women’s singles: Agnieszka Radwanska, Magda Linette
Women’s doubles: Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Paula Kania
Men’s singles: Jerzy Janowicz
Men’s doubles: Lukasz Kubot/Marcin Matkowski

Portugal
Men’s singles: Joao Sousa, Gastao Elias

Puerto Rico
Women’s singles: Monica Puig

Romania
Women’s singles: Irina-Camelia Begu, Monica Niculescu
Women’s doubles: Irina-Camelia Begu/Monica Niculescu, Andreea Mitu/Raluca Olaru
Men’s doubles: Florin Mergea/Horia Tecau

Russia
Women’s singles: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daria Kasatkina, Ekaterina Makarova
Women’s doubles: Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina, Daria Kasatkina/Svetlana Kuznetsova
Men’s singles: Andrey Kuznetsov, Evgeny Donskoy, Teymuraz Gabashvili

Serbia
Women’s singles: Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic
Women’s doubles: Jelena Jankovic/Aleksandra Krunic
Men’s singles: Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki
Men’s doubles: Novak Djokovic/Nenad Zimonjic

Slovakia
Women’s singles: Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
Men’s singles: Andrej Martin
Men’s doubles: Andrej Martin/Igor Zelenay

Slovenia
Women’s singles: Polona Hercog

Spain
Women’s singles: Garbine Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro
Women’s doubles: Garbine Muguruza/Carla Suarez Navarro, Anabel Medina Garrigues/Arantxa Parra-Santonja
Men’s singles: Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Roberto Bautista Agut, Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Men’s doubles: Marc Lopez/Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut/David Ferrer

Since tennis returned to the Olympics in 1988, Spanish players have won medals at every Olympiad except London 2012. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won 4 medals in two Olympic Games (2 silver, 2 bronze) and Conchita Martinez was the first player to win medals at three Olympic Games (silver with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in Barcelona ’92, bronze with Arantxa in Atlanta ’96 and silver with Virginia Ruano Pascual in Athens 2004).
Gold medallist in Beijing in 2008, forced to pulled out of London 4 years ago, Rafael Nadal will make his comeback to competition after a 2 months injury break. Nadal will also compete in the men’s doubles competition with Marc Lopez with whom he won twice in Dubai and twice in Indian Wells, and in mixed doubles with Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza. He will be Spain’s flagbearer.

Read: Rafa Nadal: To finish the two weeks ith a victory was something so so special to me

Sweden
Women’s singles: Johanna Larsson

Despite Sweden’s rich tennis history (3 former number one and multiple top 10 players), 71th-ranked Johanna Larsson is the only tennis player representing Sweden in Rio. Stefan Edberg took the gold medal in Los Angeles at the tennis demonstration event and won singles and doubles (with Anders Jarryd) bronze medals in Seoul in 1988. Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johannson took the silver medal in the men’s doubles in Beijing.

Read: Stefan Edberg: it does feel good to be an Olympian

Switzerland
Women’s singles: Timea Bacsinszky
Women’s doubles: Timea Bacsinszky/Martina Hingis

Thailand
Men’s doubles: Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana

Tunisia
Women’s singles: Ons Jabeur
Men’s singles: Malek Jaziri

Turkey
Women’s singles: Cagla Buyukakcay

Ukraine
Women’s singles: Elina Svitolina, Lesia Tsurenko
Women’s doubles: Olga Savchuk/Elina Svitolina, Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiia Kichenok
Men’s singles: Illya Marchenko
Men’s doubles: Illya Marchenko/Denys Molchanov

Uruguay
Men’s singles: Pablo Cuevas

USA
Women’s singles: Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens
Women’s doubles: Bethanie Mattek-Sands/CoCo Vandeweghe, Serena Williams/Venus Williams
Men’s singles: Jack Sock, Steve Johnson, Denis Kudla, Brian Baker
Men’s doubles: Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Steve Johnson/Jack Sock

US female players won 4 of the 7 singles gold medals: Jennifer Capriati (Barcelona ’92), Lindsay Davenport (Atlanta ’96), Venus Williams (Sydney 2000), Serena Williams (London 2012). They also won 6 out of 7 womens doubles titles: Zina Garrison/Pam Shriver (Seoul ’88), Gigi Fernandez/Mary Joe Fernandez (Barcelona ’92, Atlanta ’96), Serena Williams/Venus Williams (Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012). Serena is the heavy favorite to retain her titles in both singles and doubles.
On the men’s side, only Andre Agassi in 1996, took the mens singles gold, while Ken Flach/Robert Seguso (Seoul ’88) and Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (London 2012) won the doubles events.

Uzbekistan
Men’s singles: Denis Istomin

They have withdrawn: Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, Dominika Cibulkova, Belinda Bencic, Francesca Schiavone, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios, Feliciano Lopez, Ernests Gulbis, Jiri Vesely.

Justine Henin, Athens 2004

I had a bad virus – I had CMV, cytomegalovirus – for a few months, and at a certain time I thought the Olympic Games are not going to be for me this time. But then I decided to go because it was an experience you maybe live once, twice, in your career. I said I’m going to go and in Athens, it’s going to be so special to be back where the history of the Olympic Games is.

Match after match I was winning and I couldn’t believe what was happening. In the semifinals I came back from nowhere, losing 5-1 in the third and I won the match. And then I played the final and I won and it was just, phew, when they played the national anthem I was so proud. Yeah, I was so proud to feel the whole country behind me. We have the Grand Slams and, of course, with tennis the Grand Slams are very important. But the Olympic Games, I never thought it would be so emotional for me and it was so different from what I lived all the time on the tour.

Usually I keep my emotions for me, but there was a lot of joy. There was a lot of surprise, of sharing with the Belgian delegation. All the athletes were there. I didn’t cry, but I did sing. And I was so very, very proud. After the match and the ceremony I came back to the Village and all the athletes were waiting for me in the Belgian house and we celebrated together for an hour. Everyone was so happy and it’s just a great memory.

I stayed in the Village. I wanted to be in the Village. Some players stay in hotels to be away from all the atmosphere because it takes up a lot of your energy. I’ve been very impressed with the Olympic Village, all these athletes from different sports, the restaurant where you have 10,000 athletes from different countries. Also, especially, individual sports are very difficult if you are alone. Of course, you have your team around you, but it’s only you, and in the Village you feel the energy from all the other athletes, and the tension and that they were anxious also when they started their competition. And we could also talk about that.

When I went to the Olympic Games I never thought I would be so proud of the medal and I think today there is my first French Open and right behind it is the Olympic gold medal in my memories. Just the experience was so fun and the fact that for me, I was coming from nowhere. Two or three months before the Olympic Games I couldn’t practise for an hour and a half, and there, it was just like magical, something happened that is very hard to describe.

I think I won the gold medal at 10 in the evening and the day after we were flying at 7:30 in the morning. But at the airport there were a lot of people waiting for me. The whole country was behind me. It’s not in Belgium that we win a gold medal every day – it’s a small country – so there was a big celebration there at the airport.

It’s the experience you have to live once in your career. And, of course, you want to win and to have a medal, but just the humanexperience is unbelievable, and you see all the athletes and you feel a little bit more normal because you are in the middle of so many thousands of athletes. You open your mind to so many different things, and I remember from my experience my eyes were open like this (opens them really wide) all the time, looking at everything.

Source: ITF Olympic book

Thanks a lot to Nikos for taking the time to answer our questions on the Tennis Marathon International event and tennis in Greece.

Tennis Marathon

Q: What is the Tennis Marathon International event and how did you get the idea to organize such an event that combines tennis, history and entertainement?

The 2014 International Tennis Marathon™ Event is an innovative international event exclusively for adult amateur tennis players. It combines sport – culture – tourism and entertainment. Tennis fans from all around the world will travel to Athens (Greece) and will have the opportunity to live the Tennis Marathon experience at the facilities located very close to the historic tomb of the Athenians at Marathon City. This was the place where the decisive Battle of Marathon was held in 490 BC, from which emerged both the international term “Marathon” and the sport of the Marathon Race in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.

At the same time the competitors will have the chance to visit the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, the Panathenaic Stadium and other historical monuments of world cultural heritage, and also enjoy the Greek hospitality and lively entertainment. The hotel, bungalows and facilities are located on the Mediterranean sea.

Below, pictures of the Panathenaic Stadium, the Marathon Bay and the hosting hotel:

Panathenaic Stadium

Marathon Bay

Hosting Hotel Tennis Marathon

The idea of organizing this International event came after 4 years of organizing the homonymous event in Athens – Greece. In May 2011 I organized the first Tennis Marathon Event and since then I have organized more than 25 events.

The idea of the Tennis Marathon Event was born in the Greek capital, Athens, the home of the Classic Marathon. The idea is to engage a specific number of players in an organized, “Marathon” tennis meeting. The original idea is coupled with a simple and equally unique recipe that makes the event safe and accessible to everyone. The recipe gets even more special by adding ingredients that highlight the importance of the idea of the Tennis Marathon Event and the value of competition and participation.

Q: Do you plan to organize Tennis Marathon in other countries?

My purpose is to expand the Tennis Marathon Events worldwide. The events should be exclusively held by licensed providers who will follow the methodology, rules and philosophy of the original Tennis Marathon Event. The Tennis Marathon brand is an internationally registered trademark in more than 30 countries and is protected by international law.

The right to use the trademark can be acquired only by Licensed Providers. Each tennis club who likes the idea of Tennis Marathon and would like to provide the Tennis Marathon Event at their facilities, can visit the official website: www.tennis-marathon.com and easily become a Licenced provider.

Q: Let’s talk about tennis in Greece, I guess tennis is not as popular as football and basketball?

Tennis in Greece is becoming more popular year by year. Many new facilities have been constructed during the last 10 years. Football and basketball are much more popular, but most of the followers are just fans, not players. On the other hand the number of social tennis players is increasing year after year.

Q: Pete Sampras and Mark Philippoussis are both Greek descendants as well as Australian hopes Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, how do you explain Greece has never produced a big tennis champion?

There is a big gap between social tennis and competitive tennis in Greece. The first is growing year by year, the second is unfortunately getting worst. There are many reasons for this. The main reason is the lack of infrastructure and education on tennis matters in Greece. Despite this fact there is a great tennis player who is still playing on the Tour, coming from Greece, Eleni Daniilidou, former WTA #14. Marcos Baghdatis, former ATP #8 grew up in Cyprus and as far as I know the Cyprus Tennis Federation helped him a lot at the beginning of his career.
Nick Galis was the player who changed once and for all basketball in Greece, in the 80’s. I don’t know if this is going to happen in tennis. But you never know. This is the… Greek miracle!

Nikos with Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras

Nikos with Marcos Baghdatis

Marcos Baghdatis

Q: 10 years ago, Athens organized the Olympics Games, many stadiums built for the Games are now in decay, is the tennis stadium still in use?

The Olympic tennis facilities were in use until 2012, by hosting ITF Tournaments. Unfortunately today there is almost no use of these facilities, basically due to the economic crisis and also due to bureaucracy.

Q: You worked as a volunteer for the Paralympic Games in Athens, what was your role and which are your biggest memories of those Games?

Before the Athens Paralympics I have worked as a volunteer for the Olympic Games in Sydney. I worked at the spectator services in the Olympic Stadium ( track events ). I will never forget how I felt when I listened to the Anthem of the Olympic Games in Greek language, during the opening ceremony.
At the Paralympics in Athens my role was at the wheelchair tennis players services. This was a once in a lifetime experience for me, to watch these super-athletes moving and playing on the field.

Q: You also helped promoting beach tennis in Greece, is it popular and do you plan to organize Beach Tennis Marathon one day?

Beach Tennis is not as popular as Tennis in Greece, as it is happens worldwide. Beach Tennis is quite a new sport. I personally have already organized some Beach Tennis Marathon Tournaments in Athens the past years. There will also be a “Getting to know Beach tennis” session during the 2014 Tennis Marathon International Event.

Q:To put an end to this interview, a few words to convince people to take part to the Tennis Marathon International event?

The moto of the 2014 International Tennis Marathon Event is “Tennis Meets History”. Greece is not a traditional tennis country, of course, although the tennis sport was first hosted in the Olympics Games, in 1896, in Athens city. In 2014 the Tennis Marathon will be held for the first time at the home of Marathon Race, at Marathon City. From my experience as an athlete and also as a volunteer, the most important reason to take part in such an unprecedented event is to become a part of it!

The registrations deadline will be extend to the 26th of May, but there will be no refund in case of registrations after the 30th of April. Find out more info on tennis-marathon.com

Tennis Marathon

The 2014 International Tennis Marathon™ Event is an innovative international event exclusively for amateur tennis players. It combines sport – culture – tourism and entertainment. Tennis fans from all around the world will travel to Athens (Greece) and will have the opportunity to share their Tennis Marathon Event experiences at the facilities located very close to the historic tomb of the Athenians at Marathon City.

At the same time they will have the chance to visit the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, the Panathenaic Stadium and other historical monuments of world cultural heritage, and also enjoy the Greek hospitality and lively entertainment. The hotel, bungalows and facilities are located on the Mediterranean sea.

The 2014 International Tennis Marathon Event is organized by the initiator and creator of the Tennis Marathon Event, Nikos Pelantakis, who, along with an experienced team, will offer all participants benefits similar to those provided to professional tennis players.

Here is the complete schedule:

Wednesday 11th of June 2014
Arrival at the International Airport of Athens
Transfer and check in at the Golden Coast Hotel & Bungalows
Free day at the beach and the pool of the Hotel

Thursday 12th of June 2014
09.00 – 15.00 International Tennis MarathonTournament (Group A)
09.00 – 12.00 Visiting the Tomb and Museum of Marathon (Group B)
12.00 – 15.00 Introduction to Beach Tennis (Group B)
09.00 – 17.00 Guided tour to the Archaeological Center of Athens (Group C)
21.00 Cultural acquaintance evening

Friday 13th of June 2014
09.00 – 15.00 International Tennis Marathon Tournament (Group B)
09.00 – 12.00 Visiting the Tomb and Museum of Marathon (Group C)
12.00 – 15.00 Introduction to Beach Tennis (Group C)
09.00 – 17.00 Guided tour to the Archaeological Center of Athens (Group A)

Saturday 14th of June 2014
09.00 – 15.00 International Tennis Marathon Tournament (Group C)
09.00 – 12.00 Visiting the Tomb and Museum of Marathon (Group A)
12.00 – 15.00 Introduction to Beach Tennis (Group A)
09.00 – 17.00 Guided tour to the Archaeological Center of Athens (Group B)
21.00 Traditional Greek night

Sunday 15th of June 2014
09.00 – 15.00 Finals of International Tennis Marathon Tournament
16.00 Awarding of prizes and souvenirs, beach party

Monday 16th of June 2014
Check out from the Golden Coast Hotel & Bungalows
Transfer to International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos
Return flight

Find out more at tennis-marathon.com