Although chances were slim that Venus Williams would be picking up the mantle again in the US Olympic mixed doubles tennis team, it has been decide that Serena is also out of the running and will instead be competing in just the Women’s Doubles and Women’s Singles events.
“We all discussed it. I think it was the best decision for the team”, US team Captain Mary Joe Fernandez explained on Tuesday, “It’s a lot of matches in a short amount of time…You don’t want to jeopardize the other events.”
The players who will instead participate in the mixed doubles event have been confirmed as Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond and Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber. Although the two partnerships lack the star power of Venus and Serena, who was sought as a mixed doubles partner by Andy Roddick, John Isner and both Bryan brothers, their wealth of experience does make them a much more sensible choice for Team USA. Raymond and Mike Bryan have three Grand Slam titles together and Huber and Bob Bryan have also won a series of major titles, they are also formidable in their separate doubles events with both partnerships seeded number 1 in Men’s and Women’s Doubles.
Confirming that the right choice had been made, Venus Williams stated that she and Serena are happy to concentrate on the two major events that they are competing in – “We already have a ton of matches ahead of us in just a few days, so…it was better for us to focus on these two events”. And even though 2012 has been the year of Serena as far as women’s tennis goes, Venus rightly reminded the world that team spirit and wins for her country were more important than individual glory when she added “What’s most important is bringing home medals for the U.S.”