Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Updated: August 12, 11:58 AM ET
ATP, WTA eye rankings points for Olympics
ATHENS, Greece -- Roger Federer of Switzerland and Justine
Henin-Hardenne of Belgium were seeded No. 1 Wednesday for the
Athens Olympics singles tennis tournaments.
Andy Roddick of the United States is No. 2 behind Federer,
followed by Carlos Moya of Spain, Tim Henman of Britain and Juan
Carlos Ferrero of Spain.
In the women's field, Amelie Mauresmo of France is second,
followed by French Open champion Anastasia Myskina, French Open
runner-up Elena Dementieva, and Svetlana Kuznetsova, all Russians.
Venus Williams is seeded sixth. Two players who would have been
ahead of her -- sister Serena and Jennifer Capriati -- pulled out of
the Olympics, citing injuries.
In doubles, the top seedings went to American twins Bob and Mike
Bryan, and to Kuznetsova and Elena Likhovtseva. Martina
Navratilova, making her Olympic debut at age 47, and Lisa Raymond
of the United States were seeded No. 3, after Conchita Martinez and
Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain.
The Athens tennis tournament is Aug. 15-22, and will be played
on hard courts.
In other tennis news Wednesday, the top men's and women's tours put conditions on their willingness to allow rankings points for Olympic competition.
The ATP and WTA won't award rankings
points for tennis competition at the 2008 Beijing Games unless they
are assured that players who meet the tours' Olympic qualifying
standards will be allowed to compete.
ATP chief executive Mark Miles sent a letter to International
Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti after Raemon
Sluiter was kept out of the Athens Games by the Dutch national
Olympic committee even though he qualified for the event.
Earlier, two German women -- Anca Barna and Marlene Weingartner -- were told by their national Olympic Committee they wouldn't go to Greece.
The ATP and WTA both considered withdrawing rankings points from
the Athens Games to protest.
"It's obviously not acceptable," ATP spokesman David Higdon
said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Florida. "For us to
do any kind of agreement for 2008, there would have to be some
significant guarantees that this won't happen again."
The Aug. 15-22 tennis tournament in Athens is the first time the
WTA is giving rankings points at the Olympics, an incentive aimed
at attracting top players. The ATP began doing so at the 2000
The two tours, the ITF and the International Olympic Committee
agreed that players would qualify automatically for the Olympics if
ranked high enough.
"The WTA Tour has decided not to renew our existing Olympic
agreement with the ITF, and on a going-forward basis, the WTA Tour
will only entertain a discussion regarding awarding of Olympic
Tennis Event ranking points if there is a change in the policies
and procedures of the IOC that provides a 100 percent guarantee
that all eligible WTA Tour players based on ranking will be
entered," WTA CEO Larry Scott said.
In his letter to Ricci Bitti and IOC president Jacques Rogge,
Miles wrote: "The ATP will not consider awarding points to Olympic
competition unless there is a change in the relevant written
policies, rules and procedures. ... This change would need to
provide an absolute guarantee that all eligible ATP players ...
will be entered and allowed to compete."