Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerOlympic Nets
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: It will be a busy day at the Olympic Tennis Event on Monday after wet weather forced the majority of Sunday’s scheduled matches to be postponed, leaving a back-log to catch up on.
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, playing at her second Olympics, opens her singles account against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu on Centre Court. The Belarusian has an unbeaten record against Begu after recording a pair of straight-set wins in 2011.
Centre Court will then switch to second round action as Roger Federer takes on Frenchman Julien Benneteau. This is a repeat of their third round clash at Wimbledon a few weeks ago when the Frenchman took a two-set lead before the Swiss champion battled back to prevail.
An Olympic singles gold medal is one of the few tennis accolades that has so far eluded Federer, and he’ll be desperate to put that right this time and repeat his recent Wimbledon success.
Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is next up against Andreas Seppi of Italy. The big serving Argentine, known as the ‘Tower of Tandil’ in his hometown, is making his Olympic debut at London 2012 and will be hopeful of taking home a medal.
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki and Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, both aged 22, complete the Centre Court schedule on Monday. Interestingly, Wozniacki has a perfect 8-0 record against Wickmayer dating back to their junior days in 2003.
David Goffin of Belgium and Juan Monaco of Argentina get play under way on No. 1 Court with their first round match. Goffin is making his Olympic debut, while Monaco played in Beijing, losing in the opening round of both the singles and doubles. The two players have never met before.
Serena Williams, fresh from her fifth Wimbledon triumph, continues her campaign against Poland’s Urszula Radwanska in the next match on No. 1 Court. The two-time Olympic doubles gold medallist was in ominous form during her opening match against Jelena Jankovic and is the favourite to add a singles gold medal to her collection.
Serena’s American teammate John Isner follows up versus Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, before Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain wrap-up proceedings on No. 1 Court. Clijsters, who has already announced that she will retire after the US Open, is making her first, and last, Olympic appearance.
American fans will also have a good day on No. 2 Court where Andy Roddick and Venus Williams begin their Olympic campaigns. Roddick is up against Martin Klizan of Slovak Republic and Venus, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, takes on Sara Errani of Italy.
British fans, meanwhile, will be kept busy following Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Elena Baltacha. Watson and Robson, who had their first round matches rained off on Sunday, take on Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova respectively, while Baltacha is in second round action against Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic.
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