Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the four players nominated for selection to the Canadian Olympic Team for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Daniel Nestor (Toronto), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ont.) and Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, Que.) will represent Canada in London. Raonic and Wozniak will play singles while Nestor and Pospisil will team up for doubles.
“Congratulations to these four tennis players on joining the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team,” said 2012 Team Chef de Mission Mark Tewksbury. “I know you will give your everything to make Canadian fans proud in London.”
In singles, the Top 56 players in the world as of the June 11 rankings deadline receive direct entry into the tennis event provided they meet all other requirements set out for qualification. Raonic sits at No. 21 in the world while Wozniak’s third round appearance at the French Open lifted her to the exact cut-off point of No. 56. It will be the first Olympic Games for both.
“Ever since I came back after my health issues, I always said that my main goal was to play in the Olympic Games,” said Wozniak. “After a difficult few months last year, I’m proud to have gotten my ranking back and positioned myself to have a shot at playing in the Olympic Games. It would be an honour for me to represent Canada and if that were to happen, it would be for me a second dream come true.”
For the doubles event, each of the Top 10 players receives direct entry with a compatriot of their choice. As the No. 1 doubles player in the world, Nestor has elected to play with first-time Olympic hopeful Pospisil. The duo holds a 2-0 Davis Cup record, including a pivotal win against Grand Slam champions Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram during Canada’s World Group play-off versus Israel last September.
London will represent the fifth consecutive time Nestor has represented Canada at the Olympic Games. At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, he won gold with partner Sebastien Lareau marking the first, and only, tennis medal in Canadian history.
“I’m very proud to be in a position where I can represent my country and hopefully bring back another medal,” said Nestor. “It was quite a special feat winning Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000 and with the growth of tennis in our country, we all can have a chance to make Canada proud.”
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will announce the full official list of entries on June 28 which will include the ITF places in singles and doubles. Additional nominations for players who did not make the rankings cut-off can be submitted to the ITF to be considered for ITF places.
A total of six men and six women per country are allowed to participate with a maximum of four singles players, two doubles teams and two mixed doubles teams per draw. Entries for mixed doubles teams will be taken from those players already competing in singles and doubles.
The Olympic tennis event will take place from July 28-August 5 on the storied grass courts of the All England Club in Wimbledon.