Erakovic deserves Olympic spot: Tennis NZ

By Alastair Bull, NZ Newswire Updated June 20, 2012, 5:33 pm

A solid year in which she has had five top 16 finishes on the WTA Tour means Marina Erakovic deserves her spot at the Olympic Games, Tennis New Zealand says.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee confirmed on Wednesday that it would select Erakovic, ending an agonising wait for the Aucklander.

Erakovic is ranked 45 in the world, high enough to gain automatic entry to the 64-player tournament, especially as countries are limited to a maximum of four players.

But the NZOC only wants players who have a demonstrated ability to make the top 16 and thought long and hard before selecting Erakovic.

Tennis NZ chief executive Steve Johns said Erakovic was ecstatic.

"Based on her ranking and the fact that she's beaten players from the top 16, she's demonstrated an ability that she can make the top 16, though obviously with tennis a lot of it comes down to the luck of the draw," he told NZ Newswire.

"She really wanted to play at the Olympics. It's the pinnacle of her career for her to play at the Olympics to represent New Zealand."

NZOC general secretary Kereyn Smith says Erakovic could be in the top 30 by the time the Olympic tennis field is finalised

"During the qualifying period she has beaten top 16 players on more than one occasion, including the number two player in the world (Victoria Azarenka)," she said.

"Her win-loss record on grass is very competitive and having the Olympic Games event on a Wimbledon grass tournament is also in her favour."

Erakovic has reached the last 16 of five WTA Tour Events in 2012. She lost in the final of the Memphis tournament, was a semifinalist in Budapest and reached the last 16 in Charleston, Bogota and Birmingham.

Smith said the process had tried the patience of Tennis New Zealand at times but the NZOC made no apologies for their approach.

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3 Comments

  1. Will04:24am Thursday 21st June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Wow, Justin & Nicky, which side of the bed did you's get out from? Nothing like tearing the carpet out from under your feet aye! Ok, so your entitled to your opinion. Thats fine but I love sports to the max & there will always be others better than some but at least they try & do the best they can. Marina is young, tennis is her passion. Many other NZrs going to the olympics will not get beyond the 1st heat etc but at least they have made it & are better than me & plenty others that would love to rep thier country.

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  2. Justin04:04pm Wednesday 20th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Pinnacle of her career? Rubbish. If you'd asked her independent of this process which she'd rather have, a Wimbledon title or an Olympic gold, she would have gone for the Wimbldon option without skipping a beat. This is one of the issues with golf, tennis and basketball at the Olympics, they're only there to entice sponsors and to stroke the egos of already over-paid and over-hyped sportspeople.

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  3. Nicky L04:02pm Wednesday 20th June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    She'll lose in the first round I'll bet. I don't think she deserves her spot personally.

    Reply

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