The Olympic tennis draw has left Spain's players with a daunting calendar, especially in women's tennis.
Luck hasn’t been on the side of Spain’s tennis players in the final draw of the Olympic tennis tournament for London 2012.
Spain’s main medal candidate, David Ferrer, will debut against Canada’s Victor Pospisil, and has a fairly manageable path to the podium, since Nadal’s absence leaves him as fourth seed, meaning he won’t have to face any of the main favourites until the semi-final stage.
Fernando Verdasco will get his tournament under way against Uzbek Denis Istomin, Nicolás Almagro against Serb Viktor Troicki and Feliciano López, three-time Wimbledon finalist, will debut on those same grass courts against Dmitri Tursunov.
World No.1 and champion of the last edition of Wimbledon, Roger Federer, will start his campaign for a first individual Olympic gold medal against Colombia’s Alejandro Falla. His opponent in the Wimbledon final a few weeks ago, Andy Murray, will have a tricky start against Federer’s countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, while Novak Djokovic will enter the fray against Fabio Fognini.
Things will be a lot tougher for Spain in men’s doubles. Marcel Granollers and Marc López will start against Israeli pair Erlich and Ram, and if they survive that clash, they could come up against Olympic champions Federer and Wawrinka. The other Spanish partnership, formed by David Ferrer and Feliciano López will play against Poles Fyrstenberg and Matkowski, reigning Mutua Madrid Open champions.
As for the Spanish women, Anabel Medina will face Yanina Wickmayer first, Carla Suárez one of the favourites, Samantha Stosur, Silvia Soler will take on local hopeful Heather Watson and María José Martínez will meet Slovak Polona Hercog, and if she gets past her, it could be straight into a duel with world no.1 Victoria Azarenka.
Azarenka has been paired off with Irina Camelia Begu and the main favourite to take the gold medal, Serena Williams, will play her first match against an ex-world no.1, Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic.
However, it was in the women’s doubles draw that fortune favoured Spain the least. Anabel Medina and Arantxa Parra have been given the daunting task of overcoming Flavia Penetta and Francesca Schiavone, seventh seeds and semi-finalists at this year’s Wimbledon, while Nuria Llagostera and María José Martínez, who reached the final of that tournament a few weeks ago, will step onto the courts for the first time against Casey Dellacqua and Samantha Stosur.
The mixed doubles draw will take place on the 31st of July. Click here to follow all the results and drwas