British number one Heather Watson has been handed a late entry into the ladies’ singles Olympic tennis tournament, following the withdrawal of Alona Bondarenko due to injury.
Watson had initially only been due to take part in the doubles partnering Heather Watson, due to the fact that when the entry deadline was set in June, her singles ranking was too low. The organisers instead handed wild cards to Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha meaning the 20-year-old Watson (500/1 To Win Olympic Gold) missed out.
Since the organisers announced the 64 competitor field in June, however, Watson has been in strong form, playing well on the tour, rising to a career high WTA ranking of 67, above Keothavong and Baltacha, and when Bondarenko pulled out, Watson was called up in her place.
The draw for the tournament takes place on Thursday morning, although the seedings are based on the WTA rankings, meaning Victoria Azarenka (5/1 To Win Gold) will take the top seed, despite the favouritism of Serena Williams (5/1 To Win Gold).
In the men’s singles competition, Novak Djokovic (6/4 To Win Gold) is much fancied to rediscover his best form, but he is expected to face some strong competition from the likes of Wimbledon champion Roger Federer (11/5 To Win Gold), and Team GB’s Andy Murray (4/1 To Win Gold), returning to the All England Club hopeful of turning around his loss to Federer in the Wimbledon final.