Tennis Canada names four star squad to the Olympic team for Rio

Four of Canada’s top tennis stars are heading to the Olympic Games after nominations were announced on Thursday.

Tennis Canada listed Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Genie Bouchard and Gabriela Dabrowski as the players Canadians will look to for Olympic hard court success in Rio.

Raonic and Pospisil have both played in the Olympics, making their Games debut at London 2012 four years ago. Incidentally, all four Canadian players are at Wimbledon at the moment, where the London tournament took place.

RELATED: Bouchard to third round at Wimbledon
RELATED: Raonic heads to third round at Wimbledon

Raonic, Pospisil and Bouchard will play in singles. They’ll also take the court in doubles action with Raonic and Pospisil teaming up on the men’s side. Meanwhile Dabrowski will pair up for women’s doubles with Bouchard. Prospects for mixed doubles will be decided on the ground in Rio.

The seventh ranked player in the ATP tour, Raonic – who freely and regularly admits his love for representing Canada on the international stage – must be considered a medal shot in singles. His doubles partnership with Pospisil will feature two hard-serving players on the same side of the court, though Raonic’s ongoing improvement at the net provides intriguing prospects.

Recently, Raonic took part in the Ice in our Veins promotional video for Team Canada ahead of Rio 2016, featuring many of Canada’s top summer Olympians who will be bidding for a medal in Brazil in August.

RELATED: April to August – Raonic readies run up to Rio 

Shortly thereafter, Raonic made his summer goals public, putting the season’s majors on par with the Olympic Games in his singular ambition to be the world’s best at his craft.

Milos Raonic, tennis

Milos Raonic’s poster from the Ice in our Veins promotional shoot ahead of Rio 2016.

For Bouchard and Dabrowski, action in Brazil will mark their inaugural Olympic tournament.

Bouchard had risen to fifth in the WTA rankings in 2014. A form she is working to regain this year after a tumultuous last season, and the Olympics can serve as a platform for that comeback in singles. When she hits the court in doubles, Bouchard will find a reliable partner in Dabrowski, whose best matches have come in doubles.

RELATED: Dabrowski wins Mallorca doubles

International Tennis Federation’s Olympic qualifying criteria based on rankings determine which players have earned the right to play Olympic tennis. This was touched on by Tennis Canada in its joint press release with the Canadian Olympic Committee.

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Getting ready

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A notable omission for Canada sees five-time Olympian and Sydney 2000 gold medallist in men’s doubles Daniel Nestor, who wasn’t in a favourable position when the qualification criteria closed on June 6.

RELATED: Canada’s tennis medal

Nestor, weith Sebastian Lareau won Canada’s only Olympic medal in tennis.

Olympic tennis will take place inside Barra’s Olympic Park from August 6, ending on August 14.