Tue, August 05, 2008
Sports > Tennis & Golf

Spain boasts strongest team in Olympic tennis event

2008-08-05 07:45:39 GMT2008-08-05 15:45:39 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Spain has the strongest tennis team in the Beijing Olympic Games and will do their best to fight for national glory, said Tommy Robredo here on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Spaniard, who came into Chinese capital with compatriot and the would-be world number one Rafael Nadal on Monday, spent one hour or so training with Chile's world number 15 Fernando Gonzalez amid the heat in the Olympic Green Tennis Center on Tuesday morning.

"The men's field is really tough, and all top five players came to compete in the event, but we do have a good chance to win more medals," Robrdo said at the courtside after finishing the training session.

The Spanish tennis team has always been a strong contender in previous Games and registered six silver and three bronze medals in history, but they never came closer.

The latest silver was claimed in the Athens Games four years ago when the women's doubles players Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano Pascual lost to China's Li Ting and Sun Tiantian in the final.

In men's singles, Sergi Bruguera won the latest silver medal in Atlanta 1996 when he lost to home-favored Andre Agassi, who completed the Golden Slam.

"At Beijing we have a really good team, probably the strongest team of all, we have Rafa and David, I think we can play better than before," added Robredo, who is underpor forming this season, having seen his rankings drop from around ten early this year to the current world number 22.

Spain boasts an all-star men's squad and claimed all four entries in singles' draw, with Nadal and David Ferrer (5th) coming from the top five. 14th-ranked Nicolas Almagro and Robredo are expected to fuel more medal drive.

"I have been to Beijing before, it's been good memory and helped me get used to the context easily. As for the venue here, I think it's been fantastic so far, but the weather might be a problem as it is too hot. The competition will be tough under such weather condition, but it is fair for everybody, I will try to fight for every match," said the former top five player.

Except Swiss mogul Roger Federer, the main challenge for the Spanish quartet will also come from the Russians and Argentines who both filled four slots in the men's draw. The Russians will be headed by world number four Nikolay Davydenko while the Argentine contingent is led by David Nalbandian.

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