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When the tennis events start at the Olympics on 28th July, spare a thought for Feliciano Lopez. The entertaining left-hander is ranked 17th on the ATP tour, but will not be present in London due to the four higher ranked Spanish men filling the team limit.

The other members of the top 30 in the rankings who will be missing are Marcel Granollers and Julien Benneteau, for the same reason, whilst Alexandr Dolgopolov and US green card-applicant Kevin Anderson miss out due to not playing enough Davis Cup matches.

Athens silver medallist Mardy Fish – a favourite of the tennis betting community - has elected to concentrate on the US hard court season and Florian Mayer is nursing injury.

In the women’s event only eighth ranked Marion Bartoli is absent due to a lack of Fed Cup action, with the only other top 30 absentee being 30th ranked Monica Niculescu, ruled out due to injury suffered at Wimbledon.

With 56 players qualifying for the singles events through their ranking position, eight players will feature thanks to ITF places and Tripartite Commission invitation. Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong are among those on this list.

The presence of so many top players certainly makes this the ‘fifth’ major for 2012, with Roger Federer, whose army of fans on Betfair.com delighted in his recent Wimbledon triumph, and Serena Williams the players to beat.

Both current SW19 champions will enjoy the grass as they seek to add the big title missing from their CVs.

Some well-established doubles teams such as the Bryan brothers, Liezel Huberand Lisa Raymond and Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci will add to the feeling of familiarity, but the mixed doubles might be the highlight.

Appearing for the first time since tennis ended its 64-year Olympic hiatus in 1988, the mixed doubles event will provide a rare chance of seeing top singles players performing together. Juan Martin del Potro, Kim Clijsters, Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka are amongst those who might return to serious mixed double action.
 
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