Combined two posts into one so here it goes
Olympic Entry List - http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=338416
Second part of the post
Mystery surrounds the prospects of New Zealand being represented at the tennis event of the Beijing Olympics. The media, on behalf of the tennis and sporting public, are becoming increasingly restless as to Marina Erakovic’s Olympic prospects. At a world WTA ranking of 84, and rising, tennis watchers could be excused for thinking that Marina would be a good chance for the world’s major sporting event.
The situation relating to Marina’s chances are as follows:
- With a current ranking of 84, Marina is approximately 67th on the Olympic order of merit. Seventeen of the players above her are from countries with more than four players in contention. (Only four players per country are allowed in the Olympic tennis singles and Russia, for example, have 13 players above Marina). It is also unknown at this stage which of the players above Marina will chose not to play.
- The top 56 are accepted by the ITF on ranking.
- One or two further good results by Marina prior to the June 9 deadline would likely place Marina in the top 56. The June 9 deadline includes the French Open, where Marina will debut this year.
- Even if Marina mkes the top 56 and is accepted by the ITF, and the IOC (International Olympic Committee), there is a chance that the NZOC (New Zealand Olympic Committee would not select Marina and she would not go. This is because the NZOC selection criteria is that a player should be in the top 16 in the ‘Olympic Context’ if they are to be selected.
- Tennis New Zealand is working with the NZOC and asking them to do everything within their powers to enable Marina a passage to Beijing if she makes the ITF and IOC cut-off.
The approach to the NZOC is based on:
- Marina’s rapid rise in 2008 and in fact improving from 160 to 84 in three months. With few points to protect until the Olympic cut-off there is a great chance for further improvement.
- Marina’s two WTA event semi-final results, her third round at the WTA Miami event, her win over Vera Zvonerova and her solid contests with Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams.
- The fact that tennis is a multi-national sport, with two hundred nations, each with multiple international aspirants, striving for success.
- The fact that the NZOC have made an exception to its selection policy by selecting the Women’s Soccer team for development purposes and an eye toward London 2012.
On behalf of the tennis and sporting public, Tennis NZ will be doing what it can to help Marina’s Beijing cause. The first step however, is a few more good wins and securing a coveted place in that top 56.