Björkman looking to bow out with gold

AFP - [email protected]
Björkman looking to bow out with gold

Swedish veteran Jonas Björkman may be entering the final straight of his tennis career but he is still dreaming of claiming Olympic gold in Beijing.


Despite a world ranking outside the top 150, Björkman will play singles and doubles in the Chinese capital, convinced that he has a chance of climbing the top podium step in either one.

The 36-year-old, a nine-time Grand Slam winner in doubles, who triumphed at all four majors during a glittering 17-year career, believes playing in both singles and doubles could even help him.

"I feel great, really good, I'm really excited. It was one of my goals this year to make it here," he said.

"Every athlete at the Olympics is looking for a medal, it's the same for me. Hopefully I have a shot at medalling.

"In tennis at the last couple of Olympics there have been a lot of surprises, it's good for outsiders.

"It's going to be positive (doubling up). I normally play my best doubles when I play both singles and doubles: when I play a lot, I play well."

Björkman last played in the Atlanta Games in 1996, the only time since the sport was readmitted officially to the summer Games in 1988 that the men's singles was won by a player who has reached the top of the world rankings, Andre Agassi.

The list of other winners raises more than a few eyebrows: Czech Miroslav Mecir, Marc Rosset of Switzerland, Russian Yvegeny Kafelnikov and Nicolas Massu of Chile.

Perhaps even more surprising is some of the bronze medal winners, which include India's Leander Paes, Frenchman Arnaud di Pasquale and Russian Andrei Cherkasov.


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