30 Jun 2008
ITF places announced for 2008 Olympic Tennis Event
The ITF announced today that that the following six men and six women would receive ITF Places in the upcoming Olympic Tennis Event in Beijing. ITF Places are awarded to players who do not meet the direct acceptance requirements of the tournament but who, in the view of the ITF Olympic Committee, meet other criteria that would enhance the field for the 2008 competition.
Kevin Anderson, South Africa
Jonas Bjorkman, Sweden
Kei Nishikori, Japan
Nicolas Massu, Chile
Max Mirnyi, Belarus
Peng Sun, China
Maria Koryttseva, Ukraine
Yung-Jan Chan, Chinese Taipei
Ayumi Morita, Japan
Nuria Llagostera-Vives, Spain
Alicia Molik, Australia
Selima Sfar, Tunisia
The entry of these players has been endorsed by their respective National Associations and National Olympic Committees.
“Each of the players who has been awarded an ITF Place brings special qualities to the field for the 2008 Olympic Tennis Event," said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “Some of the players are young competitors from under-represented parts of the world while others are former medallists or long-standing participants in their country’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup efforts. Their desire to represent their countries in Beijing – and the desire of their countries to be represented by them – is in the true spirit of Olympic competition.”
“This is probably the best news I've had since 2004,” said Molik. “I have played in two Olympics and I have to say they're the absolute highlight of my career. Nothing comes close to playing in the Olympics, representing your country. It is the most amazing experience any individual can have. It was always a childhood dream of mine.”
“This is fantastic news,” said Jonas Bjorkman. “It was my goal to make the Olympics this year, which is my last as a professional player. It will be my third participation after Atlanta and Athens and it's my dream to end my career with an Olympic medal for Sweden."
“I'm very happy. I'm always glad to represent my country,” said Massu. “Playing for Chile is always a top priority for me, especially because of the great memories I have from four years ago.”