Rio 2016: Round-1 Preview

While the planet eagerly awaits tonight’s Opening Ceremonies in Rio, tennis-fans worldwide still can’t believe their luck with yesterday’s draw. Many first-round clashes look like Quarter and Semifinals.

Center Court Announcers: Selma Boiron, Andy Taylor, Yan Kuszak
Center Court Announcers: Selma Boiron, Andy Taylor, Yan Kuszak

From my seat, some of the most-anticipated opening round matches include:

Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro. This match-up has always been a terrific show. Juan Martin del Potro defeated Novak four-years ago in London’s Bronze Medal match. Novak has won 11 of their 14 meetings. While he continues his road back from wrist-injuries, Delpo fans are hoping to see the free-wheeling forehand that earned him the 2009 US Open title.

Rafael Nadal vs Federico Delbonis. This is Rafa’s first match since the wrist injury in May, where he was forced to withdraw from the French Open after winning his second-round match. The last time Rafa returned from a lengthy injury, he won the title in Doha.

Dustin Brown vs Thomaz Bellucci. Dreddy’s flashy play and charisma fit perfectly with an Olympic Games hosted in Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, he’ll have to open his run against a local favorite. While Thomaz enjoys a higher ranking (World #55), Dustin (World #86) won their only previous main-draw match earlier this year in Gstaad.

Garbine Muguruza vs Jelena Jankovic. Garbine has won the last three of their four matches, including a straight-sets first-round Fed Cup victory earlier this year in Serbia. However, you can never count-out Jelena. Now 31, with 15 career titles, she’s running out of time to earn an elusive Olympic medal. The veterans always seem to be the most-dangerousĀ opponents during Olympic competition.

Elina Svitolina vs Andrea Petkovic. While Andrea Petkovic hasn’t seen the results she’d prefer this season, she’s played well when unhindered by injury. Svitolina won her fourth career title in Kuala Lumpur back in February and reached the Round of 16 at Roland Garros. Elina won their two previous matches, but this simply “feels” like it’ll be a close one.

Eugenie Bouchard vs Sloane Stephens. They’ve faced each other four times. They’ve each won twice. The Canadian took their last match earlier this year at Indian Wells (7-5, 7-5). Both – fairly or unfairly – have a reputation of not completely playing up to their potential. That said, Sloane has won three titles this year alone: Auckland, Acapulco and Charleston. Bouchard has reached the Finals in Hobart and Kuala Lumpur, still recovering from the effects of a concussion suffered last year at the US Open. This is an important match for both.

Both doubles draws are loaded with flavor. While Serena and Venus are favorites to capture their 4th Gold, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have finally reunited with hopes of medaling for Italy. Andy and Jamie Murray will have to upset local favorites Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa. Wimbledon champs Mahut and Herbert will face the very dangerous tandem of Cabal and Farah. See below – this first round is filthy.

RIO 2016. MEN’S SINGLES / Rio 2016. Men’s Singles Draw

[01] (SRB) Novak Djokovic v (ARG) Juan Martin del Potro
[02] (GBR) Andy Murray v (SRB) Viktor Troiki
[03] (ESP) Rafael Nadal v (ARG) Federico Delbonis
[04] (JPN) Kei Nishikori v (ESP) Albert Ramos-Vinolas
[05] (FRA) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v (TUN) Malek Jaziri
[06] (FRA) Gael Monfils v (CAN) Vasek Pospisil
[07] (ESP) David Ferrer v (UZB) Denis Istomin
[08] (BEL) David Goffin v (AUS) Sam Groth
[09] (CRO) Marin Cilic v (BUL) Grigor Dimitrov
[10] (ESP) Roberto Bautista Agut v (RUS) Andrey Kuznetsov
[11] (URU) Pablo Cuevas v (GEO) Nikoloz Basilashvili
[12] (USA) Steve Johnson v (BAR) Darian King
[13] (GER) Philipp Kohlschreiber v (ARG) Guido Pella
[14] (USA) Jack Sock v (JPN) Taro Daniel
[15] (FRA) Gilles Simon v (CRO) Borna Coric
[16] (FRA) Benoit Paire v (CZE) Lukas Rosol

(POR) Joao Sousa v (NED) Robin Haase
(AUS) Jordan Thompson v (GBR) Kyle Edmund
(TPE) Lu Yen-hsun v (ITA) Paolo Lorenzi
(LUX) Gilles Muller v (POL) Jerzy Janowicz
(ITA) Andreas Seppi v (UKR) Illya Marchenko
(USA) Brian Baker v (JPN) Yuichi Sugita
(GER) Dustin Brown v (BRA) Thomaz Bellucci
(BHI) Damir Dzumhur v (ISR) Dudi Sela
(BRA) Rogerio Dutra Silva v (ITA) Thomas Fabbiano
(MDA) Radu Albot v (RUS) Teymuraz Gabashvili
(USA) Denis Kudla v (SVK) Andrej Martin
(LIT) Ricardis Berankis v (AUS) John Millman
(RUS) Evgeny Donskoy v (GER) Jan-Lennard Struff
(POR) Gastao Elias v (AUS) Thanasi Kokkinakis
(ITA) Fabio Fognini v (DOM) Victor Estrella Burgos
(ARG) Juan Monaco v (BIH) Mirza Basic

RIO 2016. WOMEN’S SINGLES / Rio 2016. Women’s Singles Draw

[01] (USA) Serena Williams v (AUS) Daria Gavrilova
[02] (GER) Angelique Kerber v (COL) Mariana Duque-Marino
[03] (ESP) Garbine Muguruza v (SRB) Jelena Jankovic
[04] (POL) Agnieszka Radwanska v (CHN) Saisai Zheng
[05] (USA) Venus Williams v (BEL) Kirsten Flipkens
[06] (ITA) Roberta Vinci v (SVK) Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
[07] (USA) Madison Keys v (MNE) Danka Kovinic
[08] (RUS) Svetlana Kuznetsova v (CHN) Qiang Wang
[09] (ESP) Carla Suarez Navarro v (SRB) Ana Ivanovic
[10] (GBR) Johanna Konta v (LIE) Stephanie Vogt
[11] (CZE) Petra Kvitova v (HUN) Timea Babos
[12] (SUI) Timea Bacsinsky v (CHN) Shuai Zhang
[13] (AUS) Sam Stosur v (LAT) Jelena Ostapenko
[14] (RUS) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v (POL) Magda Linette
[15] (UKR) Elina Svitolina v (GER) Andrea Petkovic
[16] (CZE) Barbora Strycova v (BEL) Yanina Wickmayer

(SWE) Johanna Larsson v (FRA) Alize Cornet
(GBR) Heather Watson v (CHN) Shuai Peng
(DEN) Caroline Wozniacki vs (TPE) Su-Wei Hsieh
(RUS) Ekaterina Makarova v (TUR) Cagla Buyukakcay
(JPN) Nao Hibino v (ROU) Irina-Camelia Begu
(PUR) Monica Puig v (SLO) Polona Hercog
(GER) Laura Siegemund v (BUL) Tsvetana Pironkova
(CZE) Lucie Safarova v (ITA) Karin Knapp
(UKR) Lesia Tsurenko v (FRA) Kristina Mladenovic
(CRO) Ana Konjuh v (GER) Annika Beck
(ITA) Sara Errani v (NED) Kiki Bertens
(TUN) Ons Jabeur v (RUS) Daria Kasatkina
(ROU) Monica Niculescu v (PAR) Veronica Cepede Royg
(FRA) Caroline Garcia v (BRA) Teliana Pereira
(JPN) Misaki Doi v (KAZ) Galina Voskoboeva
(CAN) Eugenie Bouchard v (USA) Sloane Stephens

RIO 2016. MEN’S DOUBLES / Rio 2016. Men’s Doubles Draw

[01] (FRA) N.Mahut/P.H.Herbert v J.S.Cabal/R.Farah
[02] (GBR) A.Murray/J.Murray v T.Bellucci/A.Sa
[03] (BRA) M.Melo/B.Soares v S.Ratiwatana/S.Ratiwatana
[04] (FRA) G.Monfils/J.W.Tsonga v B.Baker/R.Ram
[05] (ROM) H.Tecau/F.Mergea v (ARG) F.Delbonis/G.Duran
[06] (ESP) R.Nadal/M.Lopez v R.Haase/J.J.Rojer
[07] (CAN) D.Nestor/V.Pospisil v M.Daniel/M.Venus
[08] (ESP) R.B.Agut/D.Ferrer v (CZE) L.Rosol/R.Stepanek

(CHI) J.Peralta/H.Podlipnik-Castillo v (USA) S.Johnson/J.Sock
(POL) L.Kubot/M.Matkowski v (IND) R.Bopanna/L.Paes
(CRO) M.Cilic/M.Draganja v (SRB) N.Djokovic/N.Zjimonic
(MEX) S.Gonzalez/M.A.Reyes-Varela v C.Fleming/D.Inglot
(ARG) J.M.delPotro/M.Gonzalez v (AUS) C.Guccione/J.Peers
(BLR) A.Bury/M.Mirnyi v (AUT) O.Marach/A.Peya
(GER) P.Kohlschreiber/J.L.Struff v (SVK) A.Martin/I.Zelenay
(UKR) I.Marchenko/D.Molchanov v (ITA) F.Fognini/A.Seppi

RIO 2016. WOMEN’S DOUBLES / Rio 2016. Women’s Doubles Draw

[01] (USA) V.Williams/S.Williams v L.Safarova/B.Strycova
[02] (FRA) C.Garcia/K.Mladenovic v M.Doi/E.Hozumi
[03] (TPE) Y.J.Chan/H.C.Chan v (ROU) I.C.Begu/M.Niculescu
[04] (SUI) M.Hingis/T.Bacsinszky v D.Gavrilova/S.Stosur
[05] (ESP) G.Muguruza/C.S.Navarro v (BRA) P.C.Goncalves/T.Pereira
[06] (CZE) L.Hradecka/A.Hlavackova v (UKR) O.Savchuk/E.Svitolina
[07] (RUS) E.Vesnina/E.Makarova v A.Rodionova/A.Rodionova
[08] (ITA) S.Errani/R.Vinci v (GER) A.Kerber/A.Petkovic

(POL) K.Jans-Ignacik/P.Kania v (CAN) E.Bouchard/G.Dabrowski
(UKR) L.Kichenok/N.Kichenok v (CHN) Y.F.Xu/S.Zheng
(KAZ) Y.Shvedova/G.Voskoboeva v (TPE) C.J.Chuang/S.W.Hsieh
(HUN) T.Babos/R.L.Jani v (ROU) A.Mitu/R.Olaru
(ESP) A.Medina-Garrigues/A.Parra-Santonja v (USA) B.Mattek-Sands/C.Vandeweghe
(GBR) J.Konta/H.Watson v (SRB) J.Jankovic/A.Krunic
(CHN) S.Peng/S.Zheng v (IND) S.Mirza/P.G.Thombare
(RUS) D.Kasatkina/S.Kuznetsova v (GER) A.L.Groenefeld/L.Siegemund

RIO 2016 – MIXED DOUBLES

Mixed Doubles teams and the draw will be determined later this weekend after the start of play…