The Centre Court at Wimbledon is ready for the Olympic tennis competition, as can be seen in this photo (and the same goes for Court 1, pictured below). And tomorrow, David, ranked #39 as of this week, will be on his way to Britain. Time to get ready for the London Olympics, also here on VD. So here's a look at what awaits David - and us.
The draw ceremony for the singles and the doubles will take place at the AELTC on Thursday, at 11am London time. Whether there's going to be any coverage I can't say yet.
The singles competition will have a 64-player draw with 16 seeds (seeded according to today's rankings). In doubles, it's going to be 32 teams with 8 seeds. A complete list of the players you'll find here. Rafa Nadal and Gael Monfils (who defeated David at the Beijing Olympics) have withdrawn. Rafa will be replaced by Feliciano Lopez in singles and Marc Lopez in doubles, while Monfils will be replaced by Julien Benneteau.
As he won't be seeded, David can meet anyone from the first round on - except for Delpo, Pico and Charly Berlocq. Unlike at "normal" tournaments, the Olympic rules forbid players from the same country to be drawn into the same quarter. So David, Delpo, Pico and Charly Berlocq will find themselves getting evenly distributed across the four quarters of the draw.
Both singles and doubles start on Saturday, July 28.
Play starts at 11.30am local until the semifinal stage. From then on, it's 12pm, local time.
All matches will be best-of-three without a tiebreak in the third set. The only exception is the singles final, which will be best-of-five, also without a tiebreak in the final set.
The matches will be played on 12 of the altogether 19 courts at the AELTC.
Edit: Apparently, there will be five show courts (Centre Court and Courts 1, 2, 14 and 18).
The TV coverage will differ from country to country, of course. Here on VD, I'll link streams for David's matches - if possible. Any help with finding streams (if there's coverage) will be very much appreciated.
Something that probably won't be appreciated, at least not by David, is that there's going to be a so-called "mixed zone", where journalists get the chance to talk to athletes directly after their matches. Which is normal in other sports but not in tennis, where players usually get a moment to take a shower (and calm down, if necessary) before facing the assembled press.
The profile itself is good fun, too. According to it, Luis Lobo is still David's coach. And the only language David speaks is English. Just like with most Argentineans...
Anyway, so that's what's ahead - London 2012. Chances are it's all going to be a bit chaotic. And I have no idea what the stream situation will be like. With the other, "normal" events, I know by now what I'm dealing with. But this is no normal event... Well, I'll try my best to keep you posted.
Yesterday, David attended the presentation of this painting (which was obviously painted after this photo here; it will be auctioned for the benefit of UNICEF, along with a handful of other paintings of Argentine athletes) in Buenos Aires.
Today, he'll be on his way to London Heathrow, where he's due to arrive early tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, Edu Schwank (seen here with Gisela Dulko) has already taken up training at Wimbledon, with Martin Jaite and Mariano Zabaleta also present. About the doubles with David, Edu told Clarin that they're a "competitive team", they "know each other very well" and have had "good results" and therefore he thinks that they'll "have a chance".