July 25, 2012

Olympic Tennis Fix: Tennis Team USA!

With the Olympics now just days away, let's take a look at who made it to Team USA!

We'll start with the women who are coached by Mary Joe Fernandez, herself an Olympic medalist (winning gold twice, in doubles in 1992 and 1996, and bronze in singles in 1992). In singles, the ladies, pictured above, will be playing: Serena Williams, Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko and Venus Williams. In women's doubles, the Williams sisters will team up and the No. 1 ranked team of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond will be playing. Good to know about these ladies:

  • This will be Venus's fourth time to compete in the Olympics! She won singles and doubles gold in Sydney in 2000 and doubles gold with Serena in Beijing in 2008.
  • If Serena wins gold, she will be the only female to have won all four Slams plus Olympic gold in singles and doubles.
  • Venus and Serena just won doubles at Wimbledon. They only team up for the Slams. They will be going for their third doubles gold medal.
  • Huber and Raymond lost to the Williams sisters in the semis at Wimbledon. Hopefully we'll see an all-American doubles final! 
  • Varvara Lepchenko switched her citizenship from Uzbekistan to the United States in 2007. This is her first year to break into the WTA's Top 100.
  • Christina McHale is 20 years-old, is currently ranked at No. 26, and has one win over a No. 1 player, beating top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in 2011.

For the men, playing singles will be Andy Roddick, John Isner, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young. Mike and Bob Bryan will field one of the doubles teams. The other will be Roddick and Isner. What to know about these guys:

  • Roddick last appeared at the Olympics in Athens in 2004.
  • This will be the first time at the Olympics for Isner, Harrison and Young.
  • The Bryan Brothers won doubles bronze in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. (Gold went to Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. Silver to Sweden's Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson.)

I'm thinking the American women look really strong. The men - less so. But its the Olympics so you never know what will happen. I'd love to see Roddick bring home a medal.

As for mixed doubles, those teams haven't been announced yet. I'm guessing the two teams will look like this: one of the Bryan Brothers teamed up with Serena and the other with Liezel. Since tennis play starts this coming Saturday, I think we'll be hearing that announcement very soon.

© Kim Selzman 2012 All Rights Reserved

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