Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to meet at Olympics
The top tennis player whose birthday falls on the opening day of the Games hopes to bear the Swiss flag at the opening ceremony.22 July 2008
HAMBURG - Newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal and men's number one Roger Federer could continue their epic Centre Court battle at the Olympics.
Federer's birthday is on the opening day of the Games, and the top-ranked tennis player hopes to be bearing the Swiss flag when the athletes march in at the opening ceremony.
Spain's Nadal is now seeking a first men's treble of French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic gold in one year, a feat only ever achieved by former women's champion Steffi Graf.
World number one Federer of Switzerland and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia will lead the strongest field ever to enter the Olympic tennis event since tennis returned as a full medal sport in Seoul in 1988.
All five of the top men will compete in Beijing, and seven of the top 10 women.
"To be at the Olympics, it's one of the greatest things for an athlete," said 12-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who was upset at the 2004 Athens Games by Thomas Berdych.
Federer will be in his third Olympics, having also participated in Sydney, while second-ranked Nadal also plans to be at his first Games.
"It is a great experience and I will try my best. I have big expectations," said the Spaniard, who unlike Federer will definitely move into the athletes' village.
[dpa / Expatica]