Caroline Wozniacki wins appeal to participate in Rio Games
LONDON (AP) -- Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won her appeal Thursday for a spot in the tennis tournament at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, while 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal‘s status is still up in the air.
On the provisional Olympic entry list released by the International Tennis Federation, 2008 gold medalist Nadal’s participation is contingent on either making himself available for Spain’s Davis Cup matches in July or an ITF Olympic Committee appeal.
Nadal has been dealing with an injured left wrist that forced him to withdraw from the French Open before the third round and pull out of Wimbledon altogether.
Wozniacki already has been picked as Denmark’s flag-bearer for the Summer Games, but needed to appeal for a berth in the event, saying injuries prevented her from meeting the Fed Cup requirements.
She tweeted a photo of herself wearing a red top and standing on a red clay court, racket in hand, and wrote: “It’s been a long wait BUT I am officially going to Rio!! ... rocking the Danish colors on court!!”
Wozniacki was ranked No. 1 for 67 weeks in 2010 and 2011, and she was the runner-up at the 2009 and 2014 U.S. Opens. She’s had a rough season, though, including a first-round loss at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
The top three men’s players in the world - No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, 2012 gold medalist Andy Murray of Britain, and 2012 silver medalist Roger Federer of Switzerland - are all in the field for Rio, where the tennis competition begins on Aug. 6, the day after the opening ceremony. There are 64-player fields in singles, with a maximum of four per gender per country, and 32-team fields in doubles.
The tournament will be played on hard courts. The draws are Aug. 4.
Djokovic won the Australian Open in January, and the French Open in June, and so far is into the third round at Wimbledon. Should he wind up winning the title at the All England Club, he could head to Brazil with his bid intact to become the first man in history to complete a Golden Slam: collecting all four major championships plus a singles gold medal in the same year.
As expected, the U.S. tennis team is led by past gold medalists Serena and Venus Williams, who will both play singles and team up in doubles. The other women set to play singles for the United States are Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, while CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands are in the doubles tournament.
The American men on the provisional list for singles include 589th-ranked Brian Baker, along with No. 27 Jack Sock, No. 29 Steve Johnson and No. 66 Denis Kudla. All four are, like Nadal, listed as having their participation contingent on either Davis Cup participation or a successful appeal.
Among the notable names on the ITF list Thursday are International Tennis Hall of Fame member Martina Hingis, who is slated to play doubles with Belinda Bencic for Switzerland and could play mixed doubles with 17-time major champion Federer.
Players already participating in singles or doubles in Rio can be nominated by their national Olympic committee for the 16-team mixed doubles event by the Aug. 9 deadline, with no more than two pairs per country.