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Fortune smiles on Andy Murray as Djokovic is paired with Del Potro

By Eleanor Crooks

Andy Murray will open the defence of his Olympic singles title against Serbia's Viktor Troicki in Rio on Sunday.

The World No.2, who will carry the Great Britain flag at the opening ceremony tonight, won gold four years ago by beating Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer back-to-back.

This time his path looks less daunting, with Spain's David Ferrer his potential quarter-final opponent while he could meet Kei Nishikori in the last four.

There were gasps at the draw in the Olympic Tennis Centre when World No.1 Djokovic was paired with former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.

The Argentinian, whose ranking has dropped after virtually two years out with wrist problems, defeated Djokovic to win bronze in London in 2012.

Rafa Nadal, who faces Argentina's Federico Delbonis in round one, hasn't played since wrist trouble forced him out of the French Open two months ago.

There were major doubts over the Spaniard's fitness but he confirmed he will play in both singles and doubles. He said: I'm going to try to practice for the next couple of days."

Britain's other entrant in the men's singles, Kyle Edmund, will take on Australia's Jordan Thompson in round one.

Murray also has hopes of success in the doubles with brother Jamie and the second seeds will play Brazilians Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa in round one.

Serena Williams begins her bid for a fifth gold against Australia's Daria Gavrilova and Venus was also drawn in the top half. The sisters could meet in the last four. British No.1 Johanna Konta is seeded 10th and received a kind draw against World No.290 Stephanie Vogt of Liechtenstein, while Heather Watson will face China's Peng Shuai.

Konta and Watson are teaming up in the doubles and take on Serbia's Jelena Jankovic and Aleksandra Krunic in round one.

Play begins tomorrow while the mixed doubles entries will be finalised on August 9.

Belfast Telegraph

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